A little while ago, I sent a list of ten questions to LA-based quintuple threat – actor, writer, producer, director, and of course designer – Alex Beh, one of the co-founders of Brotally Worldwide, Inc. You can find his reply, mostly in lower case, below:
1. Could you give me the history of the Brotally! Shirt in a haiku?
a warm memory
little babies dancing around.
2. Why a T-shirt?
people love t-shirts, they like to wear their favorites, new ones that feel like their favorites; brotally shirts are favorite shirts.
3. Who prints your shirts?
a guy in nashville named robbie.
4. Thus far, I know you’ve stuck with American Apparel for each new version of the shirts you create. Do you have any plans to branch out, perhaps incorporate a high-end collaboration with someone like LA’s own James Perse?
yes, we are not stuck on american apparel. we like them, we think their fabric is beautiful, extremely comfortable, and even after YEARS and YEARS of being on the market we still get people saying; “what?! what is this? wow! this is amazing, what is this brand?” to which i respond: “it’s american apparel” and they say: “wow, wow, amazing”…
however, for the LA event we threw last month for my latest film The Laundry we did a run with NLA (Next Level Apparel) and i like them.
5. Any plans to offer an organic cotton option for the granolie polies out there? Something with a vegetable or water-based
dye, perhaps? What about plaid? I don’t know about LA, but in New York, the buffalo check is everywhere these days.
sure, if the comfort level is right, we will be happy to embrace certain organic routes as well; first and foremost is making sure the shirts are comfortable! and plaid? i could see brotally in gold over a plaid piece of fabric. a plaid shirt with looplets.
of course. that’s what i’m talking about!
6. At one point in time, I thought you’d expanded beyond shirts, offering Brotally! Hats etc., but I see, for the moment anyway, you’re back to shirts and shirts alone. Any intentions to expand again? Could we see a full Brotally! line on the runways of Fashion Week some day?
yes. for sure, timing is everything. working with the company who suggested the hats just wasn’t right at the time. we’d like to see brotally onesies, brotally hats, zip-ups, track pants, zubaz, and for certain: POLO SHIRTS.
7. You’ve recently re-launched your website and I see you’re promoting Mocha Club, Falling Whistles, and Invisible Children. Down the road, do you intend to donate a portion of your proceeds to these organizations? How did you become involved with them? Why the call to serve?
yes, we want to donate a portion of our proceeds. they are great organizations doing work we believe in. bobby at IC is a great friend, and i strongly believe in what he’s doing. we did an event in los angeles, our first ‘brotally’ event; it was a huge success, and in partnering with sean carasso of FW, we used the film and our network to draw people to a great event, to raise awareness and some money for a great cause over there at FW.
and to answer the second part of your question, the call to serve comes from a need to want to make a difference with art, with clothing, and with business. we can start making that difference by partnering with organizations like FW whose sole purpose is to do that.
it feels good to partner a for-profit company like brotally with non-profits like MC, FW, and IC. we all want the same thing, a free world. we want to use our freedom to give it to others through artistic expression….
8. You’ve now written and directed two short films. What role, if any, did Brotally! play in the creation of these small monsters?
generally speaking, brotally plays a role in my life. it kind of encompasses my philosophy of living to a certain degree. not that i’ve figured everything out by any means, or that i can say ‘i know my philosophy,’ but ‘brotally!’ means ‘why not?’ it means ‘go for it’ it means ‘just do it.’ it means ‘you have nothing to fear,’ and part of what it means to live ‘brotally’ is that one can incorporate that into their lives however they want. one of the visions i have for “BROTALLY WORLDWIDE INC.” would be that a) everyone has a shirt, everyone – like iphones or ipods, or even white under shirts. i’m talking big city business men wearing brotally shirts under their suits because inside, they really just want to be yelling ‘brotally!’ all over the place, ‘saying brotally! and taking the rest of the day off work to help out at a homeless shelter, or to go play a round of golf.
Like Tim says: “brotally means live free or die trying…” he’s right.
as far as the films go, brotally played a huge role; ‘brotally’ is short for a deeper need in my life and the lives of others to do WHAT I REALLY, REALLY WANT AND WHAT I REALLY FEEL MADE FOR. i realized a few years ago I had to act, and the way to do that is to make films. the way to do that is to do whatever it takes, to learn from the best, to learn from the filmmakers, and to learn from the people around me. i make the films because i love gathering funny, talented people and creating something fun, something that people want to watch. and on a deeper level, it can create a resource for us to throw events that bring awareness to organizations like IC, FW, or MC.
9. I have to know, if you had to, could you live off Brotally! and nothing else?
it would be great. ideal situation: selling shirts, supporting non-profits and films, and throwing events for my friends and new friends.
10. Fill in the blank, and don’t say “lifestyle”: I don’t design clothes. I design __________________.
huge massiveness things.
huge lifestyle movementations.
You said “lifestyle.”
In collaboration with Sean Carasso of Falling Whistles, Alex will be screening his film The Laundry, featuring Tony Hale and executive producer Joe Trohman of Fall Out Boy, at Angels & Kings in Chicago February 5th & in New York on February 12th.