Albert Smith Jr, better known as “Al” is the 23 years old CEO of Exhaust NYC born and raised in Harlem, New York. Al’s upbringing in Harlem was some of his best experiences in life that taught him some of his best life experiences.
I could not imagine myself growing up anywhere else in the world. Harlem made me who I am in every aspect. You have to fight, you have to survive, and most importantly you have to give back. Coming up as a kid from the East Side and traveling all over the West Side of Harlem, I’ve seen and done so much, but I wouldn’t change a thing. I believe everything in life is a lesson, and Harlem has embedded in me so many of my core valuesAl’s experience of growing up in Harlem
Growing up in Harlem, Al attended Cardinal Hayes High School in the South Bronx before moving on to Hobart College in upstate Geneva, New York.
Albert’s college career started off as what he describes as “difficult”. “I say my experience is difficult because it was very un-relatable. Hobart College is a PWI and before college I had little to no experiences with white people. It took me a while to adjust and become somewhat comfortable, but it never felt like a real college experience of my preference. Football was my main focus and priority so that kept me going. I wish I went to an HBCU or a bigger school in general.”
The Start Of “Exhaust NYC”
While at Hobart, Al majored in Media & Society and minored in Entrepreneurial Studies. Al always wanted to run his own business, but could not figure out what it should exactly be. Until he decided to start Exhaust NYC. A trendy urban clothing brand.
I decided to start Exhaust NYC right before graduation in 2019. At the time it was myself creating videos and interviewing people who I believed had a strong positive message and could inspire their communities to push themselves to be great. Soon I learned that fashion has a major role in our society and how we view and express ourselves, just like that Exhaust was born. I started Exhaust officially in the beginning of 2020 around March and launched April.Al on the origins of Exhaust NYC
Al’s message for Exhaust, is for generations to understand that if you Exhaust all your options and give your passions everything you have without regrets, you will be able to achieve what you seek and desire in life. “Exhaust is a lifestyle for everyone because we all have objectives we want in our lives to meet and to do so we must push our limits.”
Al’s main goal with Exhaust is to become a major black owned fashion line out of New York City that inspires and motivates people to want more for themselves.
There are thousands of clothing brands and labels in the world, but how many of them focus on what’s best for or community and give back? Many clothing brand’s are centered on only financials, my goal is to remain focused on our message and continuing our slogan, ’The Revolution.’
The Future Of Exhaust NYC
In the next 5 years, Al sees Exhaust as a major multi fashion retail store in various cities such as NYC, Los Angeles, Miami, Atlanta, etc. I want my brand to be worn and viewed by millions who are willing to promote and inspire others of what our purpose is. “With hard work, all dreams can be reality.”
Al also dropped off some advice for anyone who may read this:
“My advice to anyone watching this is to follow your dreams no matter how crazy or scary they may be. Take a leap of faith and do what is best for you. Be smart with your decisions, but also be decisive. Make sure when you wake up in the morning you give everything you do 110% and live without regrets”.
Be sure to follow Al & Exhaust NYC below.