Bungee Oblečení’s line of luxury sneakers and apparel are the creative work of Darrell Alston, the brand’s CEO and lead designer. Founded in Philadelphia, Bungee’s fashion-conscious footwear focuses on high quality materials and clean, classic lines.
The Bungee Story
Launching Bungee in 2017 with a variety of colorful, carefully crafted sneakers, Alston built a loyal following in the Philadelphia area. A self-taught designer who learned about sewing, embossing and detailing by watching YouTube, Alston soon fine-tuned his manufacturing and upgraded his materials.
In 2020, Alston secured financing from private investors and expanded his brand to include new lines of footwear and apparel. In 2021, Bungee’s sneakers launched at Foot Locker in the King of Prussia Mall, making Alston the first Philadelphia designer to be carried by the footwear retailer.
Bungee’s name is a nod to Alston’s past, which has more ups and downs than a bungee jump. Alston grew up in the Philadelphia suburbs and became a star of his high school’s football team. Turning down college scholarships, Alston landed a record deal and toured with some of the biggest names in hip hop.
But the rapper lifestyle was expensive to maintain. To keep up appearances, Alston made money by selling drugs. That landed Alston in prison – several times. Alston spent most of adult life in prison or on parole.
While he takes responsibility for his actions, Alston wishes he’d had different role models and avenues of advancement. Those themes – finding opportunities, independence of thought and hard work – are messages that Alston hammers home every time he speaks to groups of young people.
While incarcerated, Alston sketched designs for what would become Bungee Oblečení’s line of footwear. He also wrote a business plan, learning how to do so by reading books mailed to him by his mother. At the same time, Alston earned his barber’s license through a prison program and, after he was released, he worked as a barber and saved money to create a sample of sneakers he designed. That sample was placed in the window of Alston’s barber shop. A customer saw it, liked it – and became Alston’s first investor.
Commitment to community
Uplifting the community is at the very heart of everything we do at Bungee. Darrell is committed to telling his story whenever he can to help young people avoid making the same mistakes that he made and support them in their dreams for success. To book Darrell for a speaking engagement, please contact us.