The fresh-faced 21 year-old Alston Stephanus has dreams and aspirations far beyond his years.
SINDO (Around Indonesia Newspaper) met Alston in a café, which is owned by one of his family’s business partners in Plaza Indonesia, Jakarta. The man is 165cm (5’ 4”) tall and every bit extraordinary. There is always a smile beaming from his adorable face and there even tattoos and piercings on his body.
“That’s me,” said Alston with a cheery tone. He compares himself to the character of Poppy in the movie “Happy Go Lucky.” “The happy one will be lucky,” he says.
His appearance is typical, bellbottom pants and Japanese clogs. A bracelet from a friend, engraved with the words, “I'm something special,” is around his wrist. He says it reminds him of the support he has and his will to survive. "I've often been trampled by people," he said, still with a cheerful tone.
Alston has been able to live independent life from an early age. He received his entire education in Singapore and at the age of 16, Alston already had business plan for himself. He soon pursued his first dream of getting a degree in Zoology.
Born February 10, 1987, this man very is active in a variety of fields. Designing accessories, working in public relations and marketing for FALCOM Communication, and athletic horse riding to name a few. Alston is also a dreamer. He loves animals like peacocks and reptiles of all kinds. He enjoys modeling, styling, and photography. He also admits to having a slight fetish for Japanese clog shoes.
Alston’s unique character is a mix of experiences coming together to form his life. If we were to paint a picture of his story, he would have to be the reincarnation of a statue, his face always smiling even if he may feel emotionally hurt. Alston is a complicated man, “Like my accessories designs. There are many critics of my work, but I keep on smiling! I do not let someone know if I have been sadden,” he said.
Alston always smiles to everyone, including those who under estimate his abilities. Perhaps it is his age or childlike face, which gives colleagues the wrong first impression. “But if need be, before a presentation for a client, I will take out my piercings and wear a suitable shirt. Usually they will take me more seriously then,” Alston said with laughter.
In the creative fashion industry, Alston has worked with many famous designers. Most recently he has collaborated with fashion spouse duo Florence Liem and Dominic Alan, designers of the Entrepreneurs Association of Indonesian Fashion Designers. Lux model celebrities like Intan Nuraini, Vina Panduwinata, and Lusy Rahmawati often wear his accessories.
Alston has grown up quickly, building his business in his adolescence. This student of Regents American College in London, England does not have time to play around. His youth was "stolen" by ambition, but he is happy. “I was ambitious to prove to myself that I can do all of these things! Like a child who is encountering a new environment, I have no inhibitions,” said Alston, seeming wise beyond his years.
For Alston, age is just number. It’s easy to understand where he gets this thought, although they are not common. His philosophy comes from his late grandmother, describing her love as being so wide that it becomes the “morning sun” of his life. “Her last words to me were, ‘If you are riding a horse, be careful!’ And I remember those words not literally, but symbolically representing the principals of being careful in life," said Alston, who is a champion equestrian sports rider. He has represented West Sumatra in the 2004 National Sports Week (PON), in South Sumatra. And in 2008, he competed again in the same category, but representing East Borneo.
So to speak, Alston has the guts of a horse. He is not afraid to fall down and get back up. In his turbulent youth, he had gone through rebellion and a search for identity and managed to come out on top victoriously. “I do not expect much. If I fall, I'm sure I can control myself to get back up again. There is always a way,” said the man who looks up to the Hollywood actor Orlando Bloom.
“Always find a way to improve yourself,” this is his ideology, which can also be applied to the accessories he creates. His designs are always unique, eclectic, and heavy! “I love surprises! I'm always so proud when people carry themselves differently because they feel confident wearing my accessories. As a designer, I create from the heart and my clients deserve to get the best work,” said Alston.
Talking about innovation, Alston’s favorite animal, the peacock, provides him with unlimited souses inspiration. His love for the animal is represented through his peacock feather tattoo, which is quite beautiful. It is the elegance and grandeur of this particular bird that motivates Alston to incorporate it into his accessories designs.
Originality is an important aspect of his work as well. "I stand my ground. I do not follow the direction of any trends,” he said.
Alston always stands on his own two feet, with the support by his beloved friends of course. He challenges the world around him, providing people with cunningly colorful accessories that intrigue the mind.
Writer: Johana Purba