Her deconstructed take on football jerseys and tracksuits put her on the map, but the designer is set on expanding her horizons.
It’s been a busy month for Alyssa Marie Groeneveld. Since the beginning of 2023, the Dutch-Filipino designer has been dividing her time between two pursuits: cooking up a fresh concept for an upcoming drop, and replenishing inventory for Radd Lounge, a boutique in Tokyo where pieces from her last collections sold out in just two weeks.
The collections in question were developed during her time at the prestigious Central Saint Martins in London, where Alyssa specialized in menswear. Her work pushes the limits of athletic wear out of bounds, featuring varsity stripes, reworked jackets, and football jerseys transformed through zero-pattern draping—the result: dynamic shapes, billowing paper bag waists, and liberal peeks of skin. Deconstructed formalwear adds another layer to the mix, with skirts fashioned out of suit jackets and sharp collars adorning sports tees.
Despite finding her footing in reimagined sportswear, Alyssa admits that her debut collection was partially born out of coincidence.
“I really wanted to continue with the sustainable aspect [of my previous brand], but there were no fabric shops open,” she tells Vogue. Hard-pressed for options, she turned to everyone’s favorite online black hole: Facebook Marketplace. “I saw this guy selling his whole wardrobe, and it was all sportswear-related garments.” In exchange for 90 British pounds, she received what would eventually become the foundation of her first collection: five supersized packages brimming with used tracksuits and athletic wear.
Since then, Alyssa has continued constructing garments from pieces collected from eBay job lots and secondhand clothing platforms. While upcycling remains a vital element of her design process, Alyssa does not explicitly publicize her namesake brand as a sustainable label: rather than a selling point. She believes that sustainable practices should simply be the norm.
Football kits may have played a key role in her work thus far, but Alyssa is ready to step beyond the pitch. Over the last two seasons, her work distilled the various emotions that arise and simmer within a sports stadium. For her next journey, she’ll be zeroing in on the stories and characters who cross paths on the Tube, London’s underground subway system.
“London is so diverse—[there are] so many different nationalities, but also so many different life situations are crossing each other. For me, that’s the most interesting thing,” she explains. Below the surface, far beyond the rigid grip of the internet, commuters are left to their own devices: drowning the world out with music, reading books, scrolling through photographs, thinking, remembering, feeling. By manipulating castoff fabric, Alyssa translates her fascination with these instances and emotions into a visual language.
“That’s why I do draping, because it’s really based on my intuition. Obviously I do research, but I never know what the outcome will be,” she explains. With no patterns to go by, Alyssa equips herself with alternative tools, such as visual references, fictional storylines for the characters that inspire her pieces, and plenty of self-inquiry. “I have a story that I want to tell, but how is that going to be visually [presented] in the garments as well?” she muses.
It’s this inclination toward asking questions that led Alyssa to the world of menswear in the first place. “I’m not a man, but looking [at them], I really try to discover how they express their emotions and what types of emotions they actually feel. I feel like I’m exploring my own masculine side,” she says. “Hopefully I can question the feminine sides in men as well.”
With her garments currently stocked in two stores, Alyssa has been spending time learning where her market is. With collections composed primarily of statement pieces and head-turners, she realizes that her garments are the kind of investments that need to be mulled over for longer. Perhaps more importantly, they’re even better when seen and experienced in person.
Following the early success of her brand in Japan, Alyssa hopes to explore surrounding regions further. “I really want to be based more in Asia,” she says. “And then hopefully one time, in the Philippines.”