On those rails are Tous Les Chemins Menent Au Rhum shirt. the latest no-brainer, easy-to-wear ALD goods. color-blocked rugby shirts, nylon windbreakers, plain T-shirts, pique polos, oxfords with floral embroidered “A” logos, and a handful of collaborations, like colorful New Balance 997s and a few New Era Yankees caps. The mash-up is a little preppy, a little retro, a little sporty, and never overworked. (It’s also worth mentioning that everyone who works there is exceedingly nice.) You could say it’s a softer, less status-driven kind of streetwear. It’s arguably a lot more timeless than the trendy stuff that seems made for the secondhand market. Santis couldn’t really put his finger on his team’s design process or where they find inspiration
But said he likes to imagine a mood and a feeling Tous Les Chemins Menent Au Rhum shirt. You’re hanging out with your friends in Greece, you’re on the beach, it’s 80 degrees, you’re eating fresh seafood, what are you wearing?Greece is a common touchstone for Santis: His family is Greek, and prior to launching ALD, he spent most of his life working in their Greek diner on the Upper East Side. That’s where the second part of his Nolita shop comes into play: the narrow café on the side stocked with Greek treats, tea, and honey, plus a marble bar where you can order traditional Greek coffees. He said this was the easy part, because he knows cafés and restaurants so well.After our visit, he got me one of their signature Greek freddo espressos, a layered iced-coffee drink that required multiple steps and, refreshingly, a lot more patience than your usual grab-and-go coffee shop. First, you whip up the cold foam, then brew the hot espresso, add a bit of sugar when it’s still hot—this is crucial!—then you pour the espresso over ice and stir quickly to cool it off. Finally, you add the foamy cream on top. Santis ordered himself a Greek iced tea that took nearly as long to steep, but I wasn’t in a rush. Neither is he. Despite his seemingly swift success, he’s taking things slow—really slow. He joked that he’s fine with not being a billion-dollar brand right now, saying he’d rather that Aimé Leon Dore still exists in another 10 or 20 years. That’s probably hard to imagine for most designers, particularly the ones attempting to keep up with fashion’s breakneck pace. But is Aimé Leon Dore even “fashion”? Not really. Santis is making his own rules—one store, freddo espresso, and off-the-record interview at a time.