Tell us a bit about yourself?
My full name is Nathaniel Gage Lyons, but my parents always called me by my middle name. I grew up in a small (7,500) central Illinois town and started dating my wife, Rachel, in high school. We both went to undergraduate schools close by and got married. Then, after moving away for our graduate school educations, we moved back to our hometown to be among our family and friends, and we love it. I work as a Physical Therapist for an orthopedic surgeon and my wife works as a Pharmacist for a local hospital. We have a 2-year-old son, Ben, and he’s pretty much the best thing that’s ever happened to us. We love sports - primarily football and golf. We’re huge Kansas City Chiefs fans and I love to golf. I also look forward to bow hunting deer every season. We love where we are, but if it weren’t for family and friends (and I guess student loans), you’d probably find us living on an island somewhere, running a dive shop or something…
How did you first find out/hear about Alial Fital?
My best bud, Ryan, bought me my first AF polo for Christmas, 2012. He bought me the Larry Fitzgerald design ‘Away’ polo. Ryan had learned of AF from Bo Van Pelt’s attire on the PGA tour. I loved the polo, obviously, and looked further into AF and loved what I saw.
Why did you originally purchase from AF?
I loved my first AF polo and read more into the story behind Gibran and his company. The idea of a company started by a guy out of his own passion - focused on small batches of high quality, American-made shirts offered with top-notch customer service - why wouldn’t I give it a shot? I liked that Gibran was offering a fresh, different look on polos that you weren’t going to see on every guy trying to wear what the pros wear.
What has kept you coming back?
I mean…how much space do I have for this question? I love everything about this company and that AF has helped me develop my own personal style. Everything about how Gibran runs AF is designed around making his customers feel valued, appreciated, and wanted, all while maintaining lofty standards of practice in designing and producing his product. Gibran’s pride in his product is strong. He loves what he does and that shines through his products and customer service. He does a fantastic job of keeping his designs fresh, so the brand doesn’t get stale. Now, all that is great, but it wouldn’t mean as much if it weren’t for Gibran’s A+++++ customer service.
What do we offer that others lack?
For the sake of sounding like a broken record - because I could write much longer on the all the great things Gibran does well - I’ll highlight the personal touch that AF offers. Try some experiments with any big time clothing company you want: Puma, Nike, Adidas, Polo; or try some smaller companies: Iliac Golf, Kartel - try sending them an email, or a tweet, and see how long it takes to get a response. Or ask them if they’ll send you two sizes of a shirt if you don’t know which will fit best, then throw in a free return for the one that doesn’t fit. Or see if you get a personal, hand-written thank you note with your order. Or see if they let you have input on their next design collection. Do they send their top customers gifts? Or…you get the idea. All across the board, Gibran provides a different, personal touch that you’re not going to find with other companies. I’ve never experienced the same level of genuine, invested, superb, and personalized customer service that AF offers - and I doubt I will again.
What’s your favorite way to wear your AF gear?
Man, this changes so much depending on the season. In colder months, I love to layer my AF under a sweater. 95% of the time, my AF is tucked in. As far as style, I don’t necessarily stay true to either a conservative or boundary-pushing style. I think I have somewhere north of 40 shirts now and my collection has quite the variety. I like being able to class it up with more understated pieces, but also having the ability to go outside the box with some of Gibran’s more fashion-forward designs. And an AF shirt always pairs better with a pair of AF pants…
Favorite AF piece ever?
Oh man…this is tough. So many to choose from…and I feel like my favorite changes every once in a while. It gets easier if I break it down in terms of those conservative versus fashion-forward categories. For the latter, it’s a toss-up between the Stage 5 Clinger and the Make Me A Bicycle, Clown polos. Those are just some awesome, head-turning designs that I really enjoy wearing. On the conservative side, either the Palace of Winds long-sleeved polo or the Pursuit of Perfection. Class, class, and more class with those two. Wait sorry, were you looking for just one piece??? ;)
In 10 years I’d love AF to be?
Exactly what it is today, at its core. I want Gibran to keep re-inventing himself in terms of his designs and the products he offers, all while staying true to his original game plan. I think I want AF to remain as the small, limited, American-made designer that hangs its hat on its amazing customer service and high quality menswear, but also while becoming incredibly successful and providing for Gibran and his family. That may be hard to balance, but if anyone can do it, it’s Gibran.
This one time I was wearing my Alial Fital and …… ?
Ha! I don’t have any one big standout memory of a particular time I was wearing AF. There are definitely several instances of people, acquaintances and complete strangers, commenting on an AF piece I’m wearing. Or now, my family, friends, and coworkers (who now all know how to correctly pronounce ‘Alial Fital’) like to comment instead on the rare occasional I DON’T wear AF. But if I’m thinking of a memory attached to a certain polo, it’s got to be the 2013 Masters Sunday polo. Our son was born on Master’s Sunday, 2013, and while I wasn’t wearing it when Ben was born, I ordered the polo right away. It’s just one more little thing that can remind me of that day and how awesome it was. And it will be in my closet forever…
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