Alchemy Designs' Strange Magic
You might not be familiar with the name Alchemy, but you know their work. You’ve seen it on everyone, from the guy taking your drink order to Courtney Love onstage and Laura Prepon on the red carpet.
Christina Simon and Ed Davis have been designing “the shirts you want to wear to the show” since 2005, but now they’re taking their rock ‘n’ roll aesthetic to design in all forms, including album art and interior spaces.
You’ve seen Alchemy Designs on everyone, from the guy taking your drink order to Courtney Love onstage and Laura Prepon on the red carpet.
CultureMap: Christina, you have a background in energetic healing and an extensive Kundalini yoga practice. I remember your saying once that you believe that the designs you put on shirts could have an effect on those who wear them. Sacred geometry, I think it's called?
Christina Simon: We do have some sacred geometry shirts, and I think they're pretty potent! I could go deep into a conversation about it that would trip us all out, but in general, I think that powerful designs make a person feel powerful, or intellectual or whatever it is that the image is meant to emanate.
CM: Well, your shirts are everywhere — I can't go a week without seeing your Sri Yantra tank on at least three people. Whatever spell you're casting, it seems to be working.
CS: I can't believe how many of our shirts are out there in the world. There are people who have told us that they wear the shirt, sleep in it and then wear it again the next day. I still think of it as a wink from the universe when I get to see Alchemy on a stranger. These things blow my mind.
CM: Your first collaborative design partnership was with Stag Provisions for Men; now it seems your collaborative fashion lines have exploded: You've collaborated with Feathers, Blackmail, Sisters of the Black Moon, [Dallas'] Dolly Python and Heyoka Leather, to name a few. What is it that draws you to work with a brand?
CS: The name Alchemy is entirely about collaboration — about creating alchemy with someone, using creative ideas about their business. We really care about the values a company has. We love working with creative people; we love working with friends. We love working with local businesses, and we really love working with people who trust our process.
Ed has been printing for 14 years. It’s a science, and we have it down.
CM: Now you're designing album covers, and there’s a rumor that you have been designing the VIP green rooms at legendary local clubs like Stubb's and Emo's East. Is all the time you've spent at rock shows finally paying off?
CS: We’ll always be tied to the rock ‘n’ roll community. We wouldn't be printers at all if we hadn't wanted to make tees for our own bands, and designing albums is a natural extension of that. So: Dear Bands, please, more album art jobs! We seriously love it.
And as far as interiors are concerned, the fact that we get to create spaces for weary, traveling rockers who need a place to recharge is simply an honor. Our ultimate dream would be to design a home for musician whose music we love’s home — just putting that out there, Nick Cave.