Industry Intelligence: Alex Dakoulas of Dance Party Massacre

The apparel industry is one of many moving parts. For every high-profile designer there are thousands of photographers, marketing professionals and independent designers who quietly do their part to keep our community vibrant and relevant.  These individuals deserve their recognition. In an effort to ensure that, RSC’s Industry Intelligence makes sure you hear from these unsung heroes who keep it real each and every day.

Name, rank and why we should care?
Alex Dakoulas, designer & owner, Dance Party Massacre.

What are you working on right now?
I’m currently pushing everything I have into Dance Party Massacre. I left my full-time job at Converse designing shoes and have been trying to make my brand and myself known more. Since April, we’ve put out an artist release, a summer and fall line, and most recently an exclusive collaboration with horror royalty, Fangoria magazine.

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What future plans are in the works? Plug your shit!
I’m currently trying to balance running a business while keeping up with freelance work. I’m also looking to work with more brands and other creatives while satisfying my personal ventures. It really comes down to creating cool stuff, sharing my knowledge and learning from others. It’s the only way to keep moving forward.

Who or what has been the biggest influence on your work?
I like things that are a bit weird, a bit off. I never really felt like a perfect “all-American” guy and I connect better with the weirdos; the underdogs you could say. But I have big respect for self-made people, no matter what their medium or style. Anyone who has enough passion to take risks and do their own thing gets my attention.

What is the hardest lesson you have ever had to learn?
I think trying to fit into other people’s ideas of success has been rough for me. School, jobs, love – I always wanted to make people proud of me (and still do), and sort of be who I thought people wanted me to be. But, I think what I’ve learned is that you need to follow your gut. If you try to please others you’re just going to screw up. And in reality, I think people respect you more if you follow your own life “goals.

Last book read, movie watched, record listened to?
I barely ever read books, so it has to be special. My boyfriend wrote a very interesting memoir about interfaith dialogue that’s been getting a lot of press recently: “Faitheist” by Chris Stedman. The last movie I watched was “Django Unchained.” I find Quentin Tarantino to be very talented and very interesting. Even if I don’t love every one of his movies, they’re worth a watch. Music-wise, I’ve been listening to Walk The Moon, Ke$ha, Frank Ocean and Marina and the Diamonds.

Fill in the blank: “I wouldn’t be where I am today without _____”
My loving and supportive family. As cheesy as that sounds, you need to have someone believe in you before you can believe in yourself. My family and close friends have always been a huge support to me.

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