Alexandra “Ali” von Paris, owner and founder of Route One Apparel, was recently named “Alumni Entrepreneur of the Year” at the second annual Rudy Awards, hosted May 5 by the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business. Von Paris was recognized for the success of Route One Apparel, the area’s original online source for trendy and affordable Maryland pride apparel and accessories. Ali founded the company in 2010 while still a student at University of Maryland. Nearly six years later, Route One Apparel continues to grow steadily each year and offers more than 1,000 unique products that can be seen sported by local icons and fans of all ages across Maryland. The company is also active in the community, having raised more than $30,000 in the past year for local charity organizations. Before founding Route One Apparel, von Paris held positions with Viacom/MTV Networks, PSA Insurance and Financial Services, the Law Offices of William G. Salmond and the Literacy Council of Prince George’s County. She is also a volunteer with Our Daily Bread and has designs on joining a nonprofit board in the near future.
Bachelor of Science from the University of Maryland, College Park, Smith School of Business
What’s the weirdest inspiration you had for a clothing idea?
The Maryland Morphsuit! Route One Apparel is all about standing out, making a statement. The most obvious way of doing this is dressing head to toe in Maryland pride. The simplest way to do this is wear a full-piece flag, in the form of a morphsuit! (See it at: https://www.routeoneapparel.com/search?q=morphsuit)
If you had not chosen fashion as a profession, what profession would you choose and why?
Ever since I was little, I have always had an entrepreneurial drive. If I didn’t start Route One Apparel I definitely would have been involved in starting another business that creates some sort of change.
When I want to relax, … :
I listen to music and dance around like no one is watching!
I love all Disney movies.
“Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.” – Maya Angelou