StyleNest chat to sister boutique AIDA in Shoreditch, a space set out to achieve beautiful edits of womenswear and menswear together in one store, along with a cafe, parlour and ethical homewares section.
Aida is named after your Nan – can you tell our readers a little bit about the ethos of the store?
Aida is about providing people with a unique retail experience and bringing people together through the events we hold in store. We wanted to create a space that was inspiring, inviting and captured the creative, vibrant energy of Shoreditch, from clothing to coffee to ethical homeware and events!
What was the inspiration behind launching AIDA?
Our parents have been in retail for over 30 years so it always felt quite natural to follow in their footsteps. We wanted to build on their years of hard work, knowledge and experience, and create something new and exciting.
AIDA is run by four sisters – what’s it like working with family? Do you each have particular roles for the store?
We all work really well together. It’s easy because we each share the same vision for AIDA and care so much about the store. The hardest thing is switching off. Whenever we get together for dinners or weekends away our mum has to ban us from any work talk!
Yes we each look after different areas. I think that’s why it works too, we support each other without treading on toes! And it helps to keep focus and drive everything forward.
How does AIDA differ from most stores?
AIDA is a multi-concept, experience led store. The individual elements like the clothing, cafe, homeware, parlour and event nights create an exciting buzz around the store and it’s the overall experience which we always aimed for – that’s what people talk about when they leave.
When choosing brands to feature in the store, what do you look for?
We always look at the quality of the product first along with the brand identity and the story behind it. It’s also very important for us to source brands with an ethical and transparent production process.
What advice would you give our readers who want to start their own business?
It’s requires a lot of determination and hard work! It’s so important that you have a strong team around you and that you never stray from your original vision. Market research is so important and assessing every risk before you start.
Fashion Week is just around the corner; are there any young British designers we should be keeping an eye out for?
We’ve been looking a lot at footwear designer Rose Rankin. Her designs are really vibrant; she has a really interesting way of mixing different textures and prints.
What trends do you expect to see emerging for SS16?
There are still a lot of bold stripes coming through for SS16. We’ve also seen lots of tactile textures, abstract prints and long-lined tailoring.
Who are some of your favourite brands in store?
Our 2 stand out favourites are Handsom and Howlin’ as they have everything we look for in a brand. They each have such strong brand identities, transparent production, incredible designs and quality (and they’re both family run! J)
What is an average day like at AIDA?
Everyone is always busy so the days fly by! It’s a lot of fun and we’re lucky we have a hard working, passionate team.
When you are all not busy working, what do you like to do to unwind and relax?
We’re film lovers and love to explore new creative spaces and pop ups around London.
Aida is located in East London, what are your favourite cafes/bars/shops in the area?
We love Origin Coffee. Goodhood are absolutely amazing at what they do, and we like small indies like Glassworks.
What’s your motto?
“There’s beauty in simplicity”