Words by Jennifer Wang
Alder New York was founded in 2011 by David J. Krause and Nina Zilka. David and Nina launched their first label while they were both students at Pratt University and quickly learned they could mesh well as both design and business partners. After gaining a favorable reaction from their initial offerings, the duo decided to take a different approach to their design and production. They launched Alder, a clothing and accessories label that brings a cohesive form to both style and function, while also maintaining environmentally-friendly standards. As an integral part of their design philosophy, David and Nina are committed to sourcing the majority of their textiles locally and produce their line in-house in Brooklyn with the aim of making their products as easy to wear and use as it is on the environment.
“We see local production as the only way to recreate a sustainable company. We are able to talk to the people that make our products and see what it is like for them every day. With working overseas, you can’t check on quality like you can when your factory is in your own town.”
The brand is known for thoughtful, practical designs that extend from their menswear to their popular line of all-natural apothecary goods. With such attention to every detail of craftsmanship, it's no big surprise that the evolution of the company hasn't slowed down since 2011. Through it all, David and Nina have stayed true to their mission of creating functional clothing, injected with a sense of wit, and products made locally, with skill, that are safe, natural, and chemical-free.
March 21, 2014
When Nina Zilka and David Krause launched their first label, they were both students at Pratt Institute and focused primarily on womenswear. Fast-forward a few years and the duo is now happily creating a line of inventive menswear and accessories in their Brooklyn Navy Yard studio. The two are not only close friends and business partners, but also share a charming apartment in Bed-Stuy, a neighborhood of Brooklyn where they've resided for the past 8 years since college.
Always adamant about sustainability and American-made products,
Nina and David apply this same philosophy to their line of all-natural apothecary goods. We got to visit Nina and David in their apartment, where they eagerly demonstrated how they create their safe and chemical-free hair powders and lip balms. With ingredients like rice powder, kaolin clay, organic horsetail powder and certified organic essential oils, the hair powder feels gentle and doesn't have the toxic chemical scent of other hair products. Trust us on this: they smell amaaaazing.
thoughtfully designed packaging to the collection of scents like Eucalyptus, Bergamot, Lavender, and Clary Sage, the line is a reflection of their high standard of quality and emphasis on the details. The two set up shop at home, for when they are not teaching at Pratt Institute or designing in the studio, with all the materials they need in bulk to hand-make the goods. With all that they've got in the works, it's safe to say their combined creative force is truly something special.