Tiffanie Alice’s motivation behind starting her own accessories brand Parallel X was simple: “I think that there’s enough clothes in the world”. While straightforward, the young creative who had previously been surrounded by clothes daily, whether for content creation or pulling and sourcing vintage luxury pieces, shocked her entourage, who would have all bet on her starting her own ready-to-wear line.
“I personally feel like accessories are what make an outfit,” Tiffanie tells me as she emphasises that it is those last final touches that pull the look together and even most times, takes it into a complete new world of its own. Parallel X is just that – a dimension of our world where each piece can be worn together, complementing whatever outfit they are paired with.
But for Tiffanie, creating accessories was an idea that was born out of her childhood. “My mum had the craziest collection of accessories growing up. Racks and racks of shoes, bags, sunglasses” she recalls, specifically “a pair of sunglasses she’s had since the 1970s” which are still in perfect condition. From a young age, Tiffanie would browse in awe in her mother’s closet. “It was like living in a retail store,” she tells us.
Deliberately or not, Tiffanie’s mother also took on a matriarchal role in Parallel X. Nowadays “she’s constantly sending all my friends links to my website” states Tiffanie, but way earlier in time, she would call her daughter a star, a phenomenon that others resonated with as “two different women on two different occasions came up to my mom” and told her “something about your daughter, I can just see a star”. What was a moment of clairvoyance and affectionate name calling became key to Tiffanie’s later venture, the star symbol embodying Parallel X.
Seen on its beanies, and its slogan being “Welcome to your North Star”, Parallel X grounds itself in our world and reality but takes inspiration from the entire galaxy. “I’m really into space” says Tiffanie as explains that picking the brand’s name, a choice that is irrevocable, was her biggest struggle. Researching parallel universes, Tiffanie felt particularly drawn to “the connection between the same person, but different versions of the same person in different universes. I want my brand to feel like that”.
Production, similarly, was not so straightforward. “There’s not as much information on where to find bag manufacturers, where to find sunglasses manufacturers, and all the things that I want to make” as opposed to the clothing industry, “whereas if I wanted to make a t-shirt, I could probably make one today and have it to me tomorrow”. There were also complications due to the intricacy of the designs. “My bags are not your average bags” so “it was difficult finding manufacturers that understand your vision”.
Designing, on the other hand, is contrastingly much easier for Tiffanie. Being a Gemini, she tells me she “has a busy mind” and to relieve herself of her constant thoughts, she pours them all into her creativity. “If I need to relax, I’ll just design some stuff. I might not even put it out, but it’s just somewhere for me to express everything going on in my brain”.
“I watch a lot of documentaries” Tiffanie tells us with seriousness, which is “another large source of inspiration. “I can watch something not even related to fashion, but somehow I can see the element in it”. Having binged 80s and 90s rave culture films, the aesthetic was organically infused in her 1.0 debut collection, without ever even having attended one. “Paying homage” to particular subcultures is the way Tiffanie sees it, with her upcoming collection being inspired by East Asian and Japanese culture, specifically the Lolita movement.
Parallel X, now being 2 years old – though being a work in progress for much longer than that – has tested Tiffanie, not only from a design standpoint, but also from a business perspective. “I am doing everything end to end by myself”, often turning to TikTok for advice as she does not have an academic background in this field. There have been some “dark days”, plenty of them Tiffanie explains with a face that tells it all, giving “credit where credit is due”, she has always been able to rely on her family and friends, some of who have shot and starred in Parallel X’s campaign.
With experience comes confidence though, and Tiffanie today is leading Parallel X into untapped heights. More than that, she is stepping into the role of an inspiration for herself, and others like herself 2 years ago, before having started her own brand. Eventually, she hopes to “host a talk or something for young girls, specifically young Black girls who I feel are super underrepresented in the ‘owning something’ space, even if it’s not a brand”.
With her debut collection already out, which ventures into beanies, sunglasses, bags and jewellery, and her upcoming Lolita themed collection set to drop in the upcoming months, Tiffanie has big plans for Parallel X. “I love knicknacks”, she tells us excitedly when imagining the future of the brand, hinting at the possibility, down the line, of a “Parallel Home” sub-brand. “Accessories for your home”, she puts it.
“I just want to make everything” she says, getting carried away with all the possibilities rushing as split-second thoughts in her head. “I will make everything at some point,” determined and self-assured. Tiffanie’s Parallel X is more than just a brand – it’s a vision.
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