Our Lead Designer, Alexandra Iaccarino, has been balancing working and training for CIM like the absolute boss that she is. An effort that transcends the Strava she doesn't bother having. Ale is a lot of things. Predictable is not one of them. She's a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma. She was hired on the spot over introductory cappuccinos at Lillia café. She surfs, paints, runs, meditates, designs. She speaks Italian in French. She presses stamps on her forehead for the pure shock value. Ale is every dog's favorite person. She's like the most interesting man alive's much cooler sister.
Without further adieu, 5 Questions with Ale...
Alright Alexandra Xavier Iaccarino, you ready for this? As a reminder, you must tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you lawd.
I am not ready.
And away... we... go. What's your favorite thing about working at Bandit?
*A concerning-ly long pause. Takes a literal bite of a cookie.*
Monday bagels for sure. That, and getting to work across basically everything with everyone. Each day in a very tangible way, I get to bring new things to life—from our digital assets to the artwork on our products to the spaces we design for our experiences and pop-ups. It's fun to be at the center of the Bandit-verse.
Ale surveying the Whalebone store pre NYC pop-up, through to bringing her designs to life:
We love having you at the center. With that in mind, who's your favorite person in the office? Besides me, of course.
I have to say Ardith, but it’s definitely Nick. No actually, it's Ardith. Okay, Nick. Wait...
What about Eddy? He's a person too.
Eddy is a dog. And I love him... Except for when he’s stinky and needs a bath. Which is always.
You're stinky and we still love you. Anywho, as far as we can tell, you're never not working... When do you make time for your 80 miles/week?
So around mid-September, I entered something I call “Monk Mode”. Maybe we should call it something different? I don't want to get in trouble...
With... the Monks? I think they're pretty chill.
Good call. So, in Monk Mode I pick three top priorities. If something comes into my life and doesn't fall into one of those buckets, I deprioritize it. Work and training were two of the three. My alarm clock goes off at 4:45am, I make coffee, then I lie back down until I convince myself to go for a run. I wrap up by 7:30am or 8:00am depending on the day. It’s a lot, especially during the weeks where my lowest mileage runs were 12.
But, what's the third priority thoooo?
Where do friends come in?
Well if you ask my closest friends right now, they're a litttttle mad at me cause they haven't heard from me in a minute. Friends, if you’re reading this, I'm sorry, I miss you, I love you, and I’ll see you after December 4th.
I'm sure they understand. Curveball ahead: How does being a designer translate into running? Or vice versa?
It's interesting. Designing and training kind of go hand in hand. They’re very similar. They're both the process of having an idea, then finding the habits and daily practices to make that idea come to life. For instance, at Bandit when we’re designing assets for a drop, it’s often a process of iterating, giving feedback, breaking it down, and trying it again. And that's kind of like what training is too in some way.
One similarity I've noticed between your training and your designing is that you like to do both mostly privately. You don't use Strava to track your progress and you hide your iPad whenever you're in the early stages of a design. But when both your training and designs are in a good place, you're happy to put them on display. Am I onto something?
Astute observation, Timothy. Running is something that’s very close to me and it's something that's internally driven. I don’t like to get caught up in the comparison traps and compare myself to others, how they're performing, and what I should or shouldn’t be doing. Often times, I find if I have a trusted coach or mentor and stick to my plan and can focus on what's best for me, that’s all I need to perform. I stay away from Strava so that I can keep out the noise and the chatter that can emerge when I see how others are doing in comparison to myself.
I think we can all feel that sometimes. Thank you for your #vulnerability. Talk to me about race day. What's the ritual?
Step one: I wake up. I meditate for 10 minutes, then I have a Maurten 320, bagel, banana, and coffee. I get dressed in the most ridiculous throwaway clothes possible. My race kit is serious, so I like being silly right up until the moment. I truly believe if you can stay as calm, cool, and as happy as possible, you save energy for the race. When it's time to go, I shed my silly outfit and attitude and mentally shift into race mode.
Love that for you, you little chameleon. Okay, circling back to design, I want to talk about my favorite graphic you've made thus far: the NY NY hoodie. What inspired this daring act of timeless genius and what does the image mean to you?
That design was really led by the idea that the NYC Marathon is the homecoming of the global running community. Runners across the world come to our city to celebrate running. It's this beautiful moment and the graphic is for anyone to look at. At first you really don't know what you're looking at, and as you get closer you see that it's different running figures all morphing together. This idea of a global movement in one singular graphic.
I have a feeling it'll age extremely well. What’re you looking forward to?
I'm looking forward to Spring and Summer of 2023. Ardith and I are really thinking about shaking up the running world and introducing a new brand voice that's a little bit louder and bolder and allows runners to take up the space. The designs are more bold and disruptive. They brings one's connection of fashion and clothing to their connection to running and movement. We're creating a visual identity for every runner—those who want something a little more subtle and elevated, to those who are excited to wear something brighter and more playful.
Last question: What's your favorite Bandit piece?
Oof, toughie. I really love the cold weather tights. They’re the best running tights I’ve ever owned. I’ve always wanted a pair that you can do a really hard workout in and then keep on and go about my day with.
Do you ever get tired?
Yes. I do. I love sleep... And coffee... And cookies. The end.
You're the best. Go nap. I'll see you tomorrow.
Happy almost 1 year, Ale. We're the luckiest to have you.