Alyssa Wood

By Roshannah Bagley

BROOKLYN, NEW YORK, United States:: Korean born knitwear designer Alyssa Wood spent her formative years training at three of the world’s most outstanding design schools – New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology, London’s Central St Martins and Florence’s Polimoda) – and it certainly shows. Wood has since gone on to produce striking textiles for fashion duo Ohne Titel and threeASFOUR.

Created during her final year of university, an avant-garde ensemble of a “bold shouldered spaghetti macramé throw tossed over a tribal painted body suit” ( took to the runway at the FIT 2009 Graduation show. Wood’s look was hereafter featured on as their ‘Look of the Day’ and described as an “impressive piece”. Speaking from her Brooklyn home, the designer tells FAULT about her journey.

FAULT:: As an up-and-coming knitwear designer, how are you finding working in the American fashion industry?

Alyssa:: It’s been difficult for me.  Not so much in finding work, but finding work that I really enjoy.  I recently quit a corporate job as a knitwear designer, and realized that something that large and hands-off was not for me.  Also, I have worked for up-and-coming designers whose only claim to fame was that their parents had money.  That’s the worst!  Many people want to hire me to knit them a garment but get confused at why the price isn’t similar to the “hand knitted” garments that are sold at H&M.  I think there is a real disconnect to what the fashion industry is perceived as and what it actually is.  It’s a business and sometimes innovation is just not in the budget.

FAULT:: What drew you to specialize in knitwear?

Alyssa:: I like the difficulty of it.  It’s definitely a commitment.  You can’t just pick out a fabric, cut it out, sew it up, and change your mind if you’re not satisfied.  It’s a skill up there with tailoring and couture only without the respect.

FAULT:: How influential has your time at FIT, Polimoda and St Martins been in shaping your artistic vision?

Alyssa:: While my experience at these schools has proven invaluable, I look back and think it was my classmates that had the most influence on me.  When someone presents their work to you, it’s a very vulnerable situation.  They are being judged, by you, by others, and you start to form opinions about your own work and how it is different,  better or worse.  People in general have always had a strong hold on my outlook on life. Honestly, give me a bad relationship and I’m sure that person will have a much deeper impact on my artistic vision than my education ever could.

FAULT:What are you currently working on?

Alyssa:: Currently I am working on a small collection to present in September.  I have spent the last two months working on the very first piece and it’s very possible my show could consist of only two pieces!  But, I am an extreme perfectionist, so two is a progress from last year.

FAULT:: Which fashion designer labels would you like to collaborate with?

Alyssa:: JC de Castelbajac would be my dream job!  I admire designers who have a since of humor while still producing amazing work.  Viktor and Rolf would also be an amazing opportunity.  I think I gravitate towards designers whose work has an emotional impact on the viewer.

FAULT:: Are you at any point looking to forge a label under your own name?

Alyssa:: Not anytime soon.  I think that the dream is to graduate, start a label, become crazy famous and make tons of money.  The problem is that there are too many one-hit-wonders out there who start off with a bang and don’t have the business skills or the financial longevity it takes to keep a stable lasting brand.  Although, it is very possible to do and I know a few designers who are living the dream, I need a bit more time to grow up before I make that type of commitment.  But, yes, at some point it will happen.

FAULT:: What are your hopes for the near future?

Alyssa:: I hope I can pay rent this month.

FAULT:: What is your FAULT?

Alyssa:: I say too many things I regret later.