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Interview: Alternative

Meet Orondava Mumford, the Design Director behind our exclusive Alternative X UO collaboration. 
Interview by Ally Mullen

Introduce yourself! Tell us your name, and what you do for a living!

Hi, I'm Orondava Mumford. I am the Alternative Design Director for both Men’s & Women’s apparel. I grew up on a farm in rural North Carolina and recently moved from Brooklyn, NY to Downtown L.A. Previously I was the Men's Global Deisgn Director for Levi's and based in San Fransisco for 3 years.

Tell us about the Alternative x UO collaboration. What was the vibe you were going for, and what were you inspired by?
We wanted a boy-meets-girl knits-focused collab. Our vibe was a kitsch twist on some of our iconic pieces that play into the youthfulness and playfulness of the Urban girl. We took our highest-quality bestselling eco fabric to design these signature pieces. We also knew these styles would be sitting on the floor with UO's BDG label and we were inspired by their trend direction and wanted to be sure both worked together.

This is a five piece collection—can you describe the collection if five words?
Soft, Eco-friendly, Iconic, Playful, Basics.

If you HAD to choose, which piece is your favorite and why?
Our Raglan Henley is based on an iconic Alternative Men's style that has been in Urban for a few seasons. It's one of our favorites because it allows the Urban girl to have a go-to piece that can transition her look from cute and casual to playful, sexy and a little undone. Our Raglan Henley has a baseball old-school feel that works perfectly in the Urban girl's closet.

This line is coming just in time for back to school… what makes this collection so perfect for going to class?
The comfortable breathable fabric designed into simple yet playful pieces easy to knock around campus in and they only get better with age. The more you wear them the softer they get. Also the color scheme we chose to go with is great for summer into fall and easy to style.

You're very well-dressed now, but what were you like in high school? Describe your daily teenager look for us!
I was really hip-hop preppy. I wore a lot of oversized Polo Ralph Lauren and Nautica. Then I was introduced to thrift shopping and started dressing a little more funky. I also used to draw Simpsons characters on people's jeans and overalls for extra money.

If you had to pick a "clique" which one would you be in?
I played sports and was in the band but I wasn't a geek because I hung mostly with the jocks.

What kind of student were you? Favorite subject? Least favorite?
I hate admitting this but I was the class clown. My favorite subject was art. My least favorite subject was math. I still don't like math.

What's your favorite TV show(s) or movie(s) about being in school?
Back to the Future & Teen Wolf.

What's a band/musician that you listened to in your youth that you still love today? Also, pick your favorite song by them.
Tribe Called Quest: "Bonita Applebum."

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