Such an uncalculated approach to making a name in a highly competitive field has nonetheless propelled Altan to the far corners of the art world, as a graphic artist, fashion designer, advertising, marketing, and branding specialist, not to mention fine artist. He also created his own signature clothing line called Rock Beats Paper® while working full time for OuterStuff®, a youth apparel company that holds licenses for brands such as Umbro, Nike, and Mitchell & Ness, as well as major league sports—from the NBA, NHL, and MLS to Team U.S.A.
He would be the first to agree that his innate versatility and self-confidence have enabled him to escape the fate of many of his peers, who are one product or industry category away from being typecast into a rut. He also prides himself on making and keeping connections with those who hold the keys to the next door of opportunity, be it his art professors, creative collaborators, co-workers, or clients. What’s more, his refusal to compartmentalize his skills also casts a wider net, keeping his creative options open.
“I can’t go with the status quo,” says Altan. “Even here at Outerstuff, I wear many hats. When they hired me, I told them, ‘I’ll do whatever you want. Just keep it interesting and don’t pigeonhole me into one particular thing, because that just won’t work for me.’”
What does work is Altan’s visual sensibility and multicultural sensitivity, which particularly resonate with today’s urban youth demographic that strongly identifies with music and sports icons. Designing for pop culture celebrities with their own labels—from Daymond John (Shark Tank), the rapper Nelly, and the basketball great Allan Houston to film superstars such as Jaden and Will Smith—has polished Altan’s sterling reputation for creating stand-out designs as original and bold as they are mass-marketable in global retail chains such as Macy’s and Forever 21, as well as apparel websites across the Internet. His sartorial skills seem to be in his DNA, as both his father and uncle made a new life in America by way of the clothing industry.
Excerpt from AGBU Insider Magazine Interview- Aug. 2019