DBS DESIGNERTALK: AEYDE
Luisa and Constantin, you’ve now known each other for six years. Why and when did you come up with the idea of creating aeyde?
Back when we were both working for a major e-commerce shop, we discovered a gap in the market and teamed up to develop the vision of creating a brand that would perfectly fill this gap by providing excellent designs in top quality at a fair price – that’s how aeyde was born.
aeyde is a very young label. What problems did you have to confront when founding your company and what challenges do you still have to overcome nowadays?
Before we founded aeyde in October 2015, we spent nearly a year working on our concept, which involved market analyses, researching competitors and product research. We visited many production facilities in order to find the perfect producer for our product. This definitely helped us to avoid a multitude of problems. Nevertheless, we still, of course, have to master challenges on a day-to-day basis, for example producing higher quantities, establishing a team and considering innovative approaches.
Luisa, one of your areas of responsibility is design. How do you approach the actual creative and creation process?
A new collection always starts out with an analysis of the previous season, trend research at trade fairs and exhibitions and taking inspiration from different towns and cities and their distinctive features. We use this as a basis for developing a theme and concept that define the entire season before going on to create new forms, colour palettes and materials and, of course, the initial designs. In the next stage of the process, we create a collection comprised of well-established evergreen styles and new on-trend styles on our very own lasts.
Your shoes are handmade from premium materials such as the finest calfskin, goatskin and suede by family-run producers in Italy.
We are a premium-segment brand. To guarantee top quality, we exclusively produce at small family-owned shoe manufactories in Italy. The materials are carefully selected; cut and stitched by hand we even develop our own lasts making each pair a one-of-a-kind masterpiece.
You started out as a brand that was only available online but are now listed alongside brands such as Balenciaga, Gucci or Miu Miu in selected concept stores and, for example, on the newly established platform MarthaLouisa.com. How does that make you feel?
It’s really incredible! We’re delighted to have received such a positive response from purchasers and to see our designs and quality presented alongside other luxury brands. When selecting our wholesale partners, we take a very cautious approach and only work in cooperation with partners in the premium/luxury segment. Our new Autumn/Winter collection, which is being launched in July, will be sold by nearly forty wholesale partners all over the world. We have also been able to establish new accounts such as Net-a-Porter.com, Assembly in New York and LA, The Shop at Blue Bird in London, Tomorrowland from Japan, Graanmarkt 13 in Amsterdam and Apropos in Dusseldorf.
You already have nearly 30,000 followers on Instagram. That’s certainly a lot of fans for what is still a young label…
We recently passed the 30,000 follower mark, which is just crazy! In fact, the number of people following our account has tripled within the course of a year. Social media, above all Instagram, offer young labels like ourselves huge opportunities and the chance to use relatively few resources to establish a brand image and appeal to potential customers all over the world. We place a great deal of value on our content and the images that we use. We also only collaborate with selected influencers who suit our style and personify a typical aeyde woman. We consider this to be more important than coverage and use this approach to create our very own aeyde community on a lasting basis.
Be it Tina, Anna, Lucy or Fred, each pair of aeyde shoes has its own special name. What are the stories behind these names?
We name our styles after women who actively live out our credo of “making everyday modern”, women who know what they want. In some cases, these are well-known names such as “Leandra” or “Camille”, inspired by major fashion icons whom we love. We also have models that are named after members of our team. Our upcoming Autumn/Winter collection, for example, features boots named after our social media manager “Angelique”.
This season, you are participating in the group exhibition of DER BERLINER SALON for the first time. What do you think are the defining factors of the Berlin fashion scene in general and DER BERLINER SALON in particular?
We have been showcasing our new collections at trade shows and exhibitions in Paris right from the start and also had a showroom at the Fashion Week in New York last season. As a German label, however, it is also very important for us to present our products in our home city of Berlin. After all, Germany is where we are based and has always been one of our main markets. The world of German design is extremely multifaceted and is open to new and experimental ideas. This makes it special and enables it to offer plenty of scope for creativity. We value this diversity on the local fashion scene. The institution “DER BERLINER SALON” has now secured its role as the most important platform of the Berlin Fashion Week for several years. Twice a year, the initiative curated by Christiane Arp and Marcus Kurz showcases the latest creations by the crème de la crème of German design. We also find the mix of fashion, accessories and designer labels particularly attractive and are excited to be a part of it.
Photocredit: landing page (Anna Daki), photos used in the interview (Sascha Heintze)