[Raised in Brooklyn during the subculture wave of the 70s and 80s, Aly grew up assisting his mother in the restoration of ancient textiles. At this time, he also gravitated toward writing graffiti, which led him to be a member of the legendary BYI and X-Men Crews and one of the original Shut Skates team riders.
As companies attempted to harness the energy of the booming “urban” markets during the 90s, Aly synthesized the varied influences he grew up with to help shape game-changing, corporate-defying businesses like Phat Farm, Mecca, and ADI (American Dream, Inc.): a skateboard company run with legendary black skater Ron Allen.
He moved to San Diego to design for DUB, Droors, and DC Shoes. After a successful experience working with the DC brand, Aly would establish what is regarded as one of the most progressive brands in action sports/streetwear: Alphanumeric. The reputation for innovation that Alphanumeric solidified in the industry would lead Nike to seek Aly out for his expertise during the inception of Nike SB. In this collaborative capacity, Aly would work with Nike to select the Dunk as the brand’s flagship skate shoe.
Photo by Connor Wyse
Later he would be invited to join the Adidas Originals By Originals program, alongside Jeremy Scott and Kazuki of Fragment. At the same time, he continued to embed himself in cultural reservoirs around the globe - starting iconic cult brands like Fiberops in Hong Kong and Tokyo and acting as PF Flyers’ on-call brand historian/archivist.
To this day, Aly is committed to bridging cultural spaces, history, and the present to better clarify our understanding of the future. Now a core member of the Shoyoroll creative team, we asked Aly to send in some photos of the current state of his mood board in his at-home work space.]
1. MISTER GREEN sticker, one of my favorite brands
2. Original Jim Thiebaud Real Skateboards test screen
3. Kyudo arrows waiting to be repaired
4. Slappy Hour by Jason Adams, button and sticker pack
5. Custom skateboard shape, "butterfly" template
6. Jack Rackam patch, given to me by a friend
7. SHOYOROLL prototype, pearl weave fabric
8. My coach/professor Tim Pablo's business card
9. A card that came with a book sent from the Stussy crew.
10. Great Chris Haueter quote that resonated with me
11. Racing laminate sail cloth, samples for bags
2. Random 1950s workout manual, interestingly lots of good exercises
13. DOME BOOK 2 by Lloyd Kahn, I'm a big fan of Buckminster Fuller and Kahns continued Geodesic dome work as well, as well as his shelter development and documentation
14. Paper cut-out I did back in 1994 for my skateboard brand American Dream Incorporated
15. Original Sergio Hernandez POPS Tattoo shop artwork, I helped color separate
16. Top secret things
17. Voight Kampff Empathy Test stickers I made
18. Sketches for a bow and arrow stand for my Hankyu bow
19. Eastern Band Cherokee illustration I did, my great-grandmother on my father's side's people
20. Vintage chenille patch, waiting for a garment to be sewn onto
21. Yours truly
22. Another vintage chenille piece
23. Seven Samurai banner, my favorite film
24. Chess set design thumbs and prototype bishop piece
25. Instructions for 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea's Nautilus resign garage kit, I used to build a lot of models
26. GOLGO 13, Duke Togo key/phone strap
27. Tailer park postcard, I have an obsession with vintage trailers and parks
28. Issue 1 of LIFE CRISIS, a zine I did with my buddy Kevin Wilkins
[Bio written by Phil Chang]