BYU student launches clothing brand eliciting deeper reflection


Twenty-year-old BYU student Alexis Long launched her brand, First Day Wear, combining streetwear with messages that elicit deeper reflection.

(Jamie Calica)

Long, a San Diego native studying international relations, has always been interested in clothing. Around the time she was in high school, she found a liking for streetwear and fashion. She combined that with her passion for writing to create First Day Wear.

According to Long, her brand’s main focus is the messages it conveys: It challenges the audience to view the world and their own personal lives through a more optimistic lens. 

Alexis Long dresses up as a princess in 2006. The BYU international relations student has always been interested in clothing and fashion. (Photo courtesy of Alexis Long)

Before coming to Provo and starting her business, Long lived in a small suburban town with her parents and two younger siblings, Calista and Caden Long. Her family dynamic shifted once her parents separated. However, she views the impact this had on her in a positive way.

“It made me realize life isn’t meant to be perfect and it’s good to be exposed to struggle. I honestly think I wouldn’t be who I am today without that struggle,” she said.

Growing up, she took an interest in writing and believed this creative outlet was what she wanted to pursue in the future. Kara Han, collaborator of First Day Wear and a former roommate of Long’s, sees her friend as “an amazing writer who can really easily take those thoughts and put it out in a picture.”

Expanding her passions, Long decided to go down the path of studying international relations. Her choice in this major roots in her interest in the way foreign policy works.

She also desires to make a change in the world, whether that be in a big or small way. She still writes and hopes to put out her own book someday.

Han stressed the value of her caring personality. “She shows people they’re loved and it really comes through with her business,” she said.

Diving deeper into what First Day Wear is about, Long explained the message she hopes to convey to her audience.

This poem by Linda Pastan inspired Alexis Long to start First Day Wear. (Made in Canva by Jamie Calica)

“First Day Wear is about living each day as if it were your first rather than your last,” Long said. “Being in the moment — that’s the main message behind the brand and just loving where you are now and who you’re with.” 

This idea was inspired by a poem by Linda Pastan called “Imaginary Conversation.”

She compared this thought process to the phrase “YOLO,” or “you only live once,” and how it is impulsive and action-based. In contrast, First Day Wear emphasizes a different perspective that adds meaning to one’s mental state and outlook on life.

She used the mindset of a child as an example.

“A kid looks around and gets so excited about a flower, the first snowfall, rain and jumping in puddles. I think that’s the mentality of being so overly excited about life,” she said. “It helps you be more grateful for relationships and opportunities.”

Throughout the process of creating her business, Long overcame challenges that pushed her to learn and grow. Opening up about the hardest parts of this journey, she detailed the difficulty of the block of creativity, flow of ideas and feeling out of it.

Along with that, she shared her fears of not having support, enough funds and overall success. Long built this brand from the ground up, financially relying only on herself.

Although money is a stressful factor, she’s navigated through the barrier optimistically, saying, “It makes me more ambitious. If I’m relying on my parents’ money, I’m not going to be that ambitious about making it happen.”

Long arranges stickers and bags as part of her First Day Wear collection. (Jamie Calica)

Looking back on her journey becoming a business owner, Long brings awareness to the change and growth throughout this experience.

“I never stop growing, I’m always changing. Last year’s me is very different from this year’s me,” she said.

Alexis Long spends a night out with friends. (Photo courtesy of Henry Fye)

Emme Sirmans, model for First Day Wear, recalled her first impressions of Long, describing her as “kind and forward.” She shared how Long reached out through direct messages on Instagram, asking her to be a part of First Day Wear’s videos and photoshoots.

From their time working together, Sirmans was able to observe Long’s work ethic.

“When things don’t go as planned, she is quick to find a solution and keep herself level-headed,” Sirmans said.

Supporting this statement, Han shared how quick Long is to finding solutions, being open to new ideas and learning new processes.

Han’s experience in supporting the start-up of First Day Wear began when she and Long were living together. She shared how it grew out of casual conversations in which they threw ideas around.

“I really was just a side person who wanted to give extra ideas and advice. Collaboration with Alexis is really easy. She loves advice but will still stick with her gut no matter what,” Han said.

One idea that Long feels strongly about is the thoughtful messages she implements within her brand. The question, “When was the last time you did something for the first time?” is an example of this. 

“Our generation has been bombarded with advertisements ever since we were little — when they see something with actual substance it makes them pause and try to connect with it because it’s something new and different,” she said.

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