Ali Barone - Lipstick Prophets
On September 11, 2001, Ali Barone, the
Buffalo-raised designer behind the Lipstick
Prophets, was living in downtown New York City. Two days later she was barreling across the country in a borrowed 1983 Jaguar XJS with a Chevy engine. She drove all the way to Los Angeles and never looked back. "It was a nightmare. I jumped in my roommate's amazing Jaguar. I didn't have a driver's license, but I dumped 35 pairs of shoes in the trunk, found a map, and drove the whole way. I never thought anything through. It was just‚ ‘I'm getting off this fucking island.'"
When she got to L.A., Barone started working in fashion for Agatha Blois. "I was her assistant for a couple of years and learned so much," Barone says. After that, she started the Stiletto Killers Tshirt line with a partner before eventually branching out on her own. Her brand, Lipstick Prophets, made its mark with saucy T-shirts and hoodies that say things like "Property of Fuck U. Athletic Dept."
"My new season is going to be a more high end collection," explains Barone, who also hosts an Internet radio show called "Leave Your Weave" on compoundradio.org. In fact, music shapes a lot of what Barone is currently creating. "I'll be listening to music and then this transfer happens. I visualize myself in the outfit, enjoying the song, and the song becomes an outfit." Expect to see "a lot of British inspiration" in Barone's newest designs, which include old-school late-'70s looks, "with that dirty feel," as well as some '80s inspired pieces like a bright satin jacket.
Says Barone of her future, "If I think about something for too long, then I'm too scared and I'm not doing it. Fear is so debilitating. You have to stop thinking and just do it."