People like “People Like Me”
David Ayllon, an alumnus of Seton Hall University, recently launched his own t-shirt line, “People Like Me.”
Ayllon graduated in May 2009 with a degree in art advertising and graphic design and faced with the infamous question, “What am I going to do when I graduate?,” Ayllon found his answer by turning to a passion that started for him back in high school – designing t-shirts.
“Once I graduated Seton Hall I was trying to figure out what I was going to do, how on earth I was going to find a job in this economy,” he said. “I decided that if there was ever a time to try, even if I failed, that this would be the best time to do that.”
What stands out the most about “People Like Me” is the ingenuity of the t-shirt designs. From browsing the web site, it’s easy to see that Ayllon’s designs are not what you’ll find in a run-of-the-mill clothing store. Ayllon doesn’t simply “make shirts;” his designs are clever, witty and cater to an individualistic sense of personal style.
“You can take it (the name of the label) in two directions, it’s sort of like either I’m a narcissist and ‘people like me’ or I’m part of a bigger community of artsy folk that are like me,” he said. “I like that people can make their own decisions on what it means.”
The possibility of dual meaning that requires interpretation is a key trend in Ayllon’s work.
“A lot of the shirts are like that too, you kind of have to make your own interpretation of what I’m trying to say,” he said.
There’s no denying that when you buy clothes from mass manufactured stores a certain personal touch is lost in translation. Ayllon’s line, however, is built on a sense of personal connection and like-mindedness between the customer and the designer.
“There isn’t as much rhyme and reason to it (his inspiration) as it may seem, the entire clothing line is so much what I like personally and every single one of the shirts is something that I would have made for myself anyway, so it’s really just this combination of all these things I love,” he said.
Where most clothing lines are concerned with producing large number of shirts that are all exactly alike, Ayllon takes a different approach.
“All the ideas come from their own place, because I don’t want the shirts to ever feel too similar,” he said.
“For college students especially there are not that many companies that aren’t speaking down to us, so instead of having some cooperate big-wig telling us what we should be wearing the appeal will be much bigger, because I’m giving it to people the same age as me with the same likes and interests,” he said.
With the abundance of creativity and individuality present in Ayllon’s line, success seems like a very attainable goal regardless of any economical challenges.
Ayllon will be selling his t-shirts here at Seton Hall on Feb. 16 and 17 and he has high hopes that students will find a certain appeal in his line.
If you can’t wait until Feb., check out the “People Like Me” web site at www.peoplelikemeshop.com and order t-shirts by one of Seton Hall’s very own.
Emily Lake can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.