Fashion’s Next Big Thing Is Hiding in a Boston Auto Body Shop

“It’s important to own where you’re from,” says designer Alex Bossi. For him, that’s East Boston, where he recently returned to live in his family’s auto body shop after years spent working all over the world. His new digs became a source of inspiration for his fashion line, Bossi Sportswear, launching this summer at Maxfield in L.A., Riccardi in Boston, Pretty Box in Paris, and Le Gray in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (Case in point: He adorns all the hardware on his clothes with iridescent coloring inspired by an oil slick.) The majority of the collection is produced at the legendary Sterlingwear of Boston factory, known for supplying peacoats to the U.S. Navy.

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The 32-year-old wants his work to have the same staying power as those combat-ready jackets. Sustainability is also key, as in the upcycled Hawaiian shirts he fuses with vintage Harley-Davidson logos. Rappers Travis Scott and Saint Jhn have already snapped up pieces from his collection.

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Lia Clay

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Calling Boston home is unusual for a designer, but Bossi hasn’t followed the usual career path. He’s been a nightclub doorman, has redesigned the logo for L.A.’s TCL Chinese Theatre, and has worked as an art director for hotels (New York’s Gansevoort and London’s The Curtain) and as a concept designer for Amiri, pooling the proceeds to self-fund his line. Even more unusually, he doesn’t use social media to promote his brand, because, he says, he’s not interested in short-lived hype. Instead, his Instagram serves as a moodboard of inspirational photos from his past–including a shot of his mom, whom he calls “the most famous woman in [my] life.” (He printed the image on a neon-pink T-shirt, at left, in tribute.) Who could be a more fitting muse for a hometown boy made good?

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Lia Clay

Photographed by Lia Clay. Styled by Ronald Burton. Hair by Dana Boyer for R+CO; Makeup by Yuui vision for Hourglass Cosmetics; manicure by Nori for Chanel beauty; models: Dominique Babineaux at Heroes Models and Kendall Harrison at DNA Models

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