In the winter of 2017, Alexandria resident Alyssa Kovach set out to find clothing reflective of the quaint Northern Virginia region in for her three boys.
“Everything I found was very touristy and looked like something I could find in any other city,” says Kovach. “So I thought, if I were to make a shirt, what would it look like?”
With that, A|VA Apparel was born.
While Kovach has no professional experience with design, her previous job as a teacher, her personal life as a stay-at-home mom and hometown pride prompted the passion she needed to try the new career path. Now two years later, Kovach’s idea has grown from T-shirts for kids to a brand with several styles for infants, kids and adults, as well as Alexandria-themed mugs and hats.
With her designs, ranging from street signs of King Street to distinct zip codes, the goal is to capture the many personalities within the neighborhoods of the historic area, Kovach explains.
“It’s hard to encapsulate one population with each design,” says Kovach. “There are parts of town that are a little funkier and others that are clean and classic, so I try to think of every single one when I make new styles, and fonts help a lot with that expression.”
Each time Kovach stencils a new idea, she heads to a printer located in Old Town where the vision comes to life. Her favorite piece? The baseball tees donning various hometown symbols, retro fonts and more.
This fall, be on the lookout for back-to-school designs for the youngsters, vintage-inspired ’80s baseball tees and possibly even sweatshirts.
While there is no storefront for A|VA Apparel, shoppers can find the attire at the Alexandria Visitor Center, as well as local booths and select shops like 529 Kids Consign. Plus, Kovach’s styles can be purchased online at any time.
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