ÃERON is a quiet storm brewing in the global fashion scene. Just five years ago, designer Eszter Áron started the label from a small studio in Budapest. Her family's history with textiles and experience traveling to art fairs around Europe gave her a greater appreciation for materials and craftsmanship that inspired her dream of starting her own brand. When Eszter broke out on her own after working under one of Budapest's biggest designers, she began ÁERON with quality as the top priority. Today, each piece stands as a testament to her impeccable craft. The designs consist of clean lines, modest silhouettes, and mindful construction and tell a story of timeless femininity. In just a few years, ÁERON has made a name for itself emanating an image of understated elegance and effortless sophistication. We sat down with Eszter to hear more about her brand's budding success and get a local look at Budapest.
Type of brand
Where can we find you?
Who is the ideal ÁERON customer?
The ÁERON customer is defined by character rather than age. Creative, open-minded and independent, she represents understated luxury by making a discreet statement with her garments each and every day. She is the new vision of femininity.
Describe the fashion scene in Budapest.
People in Budapest tend to choose more comfortable and easy pieces, but there's a young growing crowd who dare to wear more unique clothes and are not afraid to express personal style.
After working in the fashion industry as a designer under another brand, what made you decide to launch your own label?
When you design under another brand it's really important to completely adapt to their image and understand their philosophy. It doesn't necessarily match your personal style, but you learn to see things through many lenses. As a designer, I can't think of a more inspiring or self-fulfilling scenario than building your own brand and its own image. There's nothing more rewarding than being able to create collections which come from the heart, express your vision and reflect your own aesthetic. Since I design womenswear, all of my clothes are personal and instinctive - I can imagine wearing all of them.
What are three aspects of Budapest you think set it apart from other cities around the world?
I think what makes Budapest unique is the mixture of history, architecture and landscape with an edgy, underground scene. Sometimes you feel like you're going back in time, but then all the ruin bars and restaurants bring the city to life. It is possible to have a very historic experience or enjoy the more contemporary side of the city. It's also very romantic.
Where would you take us if we had 24 hours in Budapest?
I would start with a cappuccino at my favourite coffee shop, Café Embassy, in the 5th district. I would then recommend a walk in the Buda Castle, an area steeped in history with charming buildings and the most amazing view. Budapest has gorgeous bridges so we'd walk back to the Pest side of the city across Chain Bridge, the most famous of all. For lunch, we'd head to Café Kör for traditional Hungarian dishes before hitting the amazing vintage and designer shops in the afternoon. Andrássy Avenue is also a must-see, on which you pass the Opera House and Heroes Square, checking out the beautiful old villas along the way. For dinner, it would be Bestia overlooking St Stephen's Basilica, before checking out some of Budapest's famous nightlife. Urban Tiger, Boutique Bar or places around Madách Square should be on your drinks bucket list.
How do you think the city is evolving and growing?
In the last few years the changes have really become visible. As I said before there is no doubt that Budapest has always been beautiful, but in recent years, there has been so much more creativity here. There are so many cool cafes, bars, restaurants, and galleries opening at every corner that are so creatively executed and all so different. Everyone is expressing themselves in their own unique way. It is fascinating to see it all blend together. I'm thrilled to be a part of such an exciting time in Budapest.
Tell us a bit about your childhood and how your exposure to textiles at such a young age influences your business and artistic practices.
My grandparents owned a textile shop that I visited a lot as I child. Because of this, I saw so many exciting fabrics. I've always admired and looked up to my mother. She had the biggest impact on me with her aesthetics and personal style. She travelled a lot and always bought nice dresses for herself. Seeing her in delicate garments affected me and helped me developed my own aesthetics. This made me eager to choose the finest materials and create my collections with the highest tailoring techniques -- luckily many people notice and appreciate.
Where do you find inspiration for your designs?
I find my inspiration in past periods, archive magazines, architecture, travel, and on the streets.
What are your favourite fabrics to work with?
Silk is definitely one of my favourite materials when it comes to fluid fabrics; it is so easy and playful, and has a unique movement that looks very sophisticated on the body. As for more static textiles, I like linen, wool, cashmere or cotton. Of course, my ultimate favourite is leather - I love working with it and creating a jacket, dress, skirt or anything out of it. Knits are great as well and it's always an exciting experiment to work with yarns.
You mostly work with solid colours and rarely with prints. When and why do you decide to use prints and what qualities are you looking for in them?
I love working with solid colours - that's where my main focus is - but I'm open to prints as well. It's very rare when the core fabric, colour and print create harmony - so it's hard for me to find a printed textile that I can actually fall for a hundred per cent. It depends on the season, but I always choose one or two prints to incorporate in my collections. The base is solid, but prints are important to add that certain something to the overall view.
What do you have in mind for the future of ÀERON?
I'm very happy with the way things are going at the moment and it's exciting to see us expand globally every year. We currently sell in over 15 countries, so I hope we will continue to strengthen our biggest markets, such as Japan, while continuing make waves in new places. Who knows, maybe we will have a store in London or New York soon!
What are the biggest struggles you face as a young designer with a new label?
The biggest struggle is finance - pre-financing the collections and production. Also receiving the materials in time can be a challenge.
What advice do you have for other designers who want to start their own business?
As a designer, I think it's crucial to have someone on your side who deals with the management, operational and financial parts of the business so you can concentrate purely on designing. A strong and professional team behind you and financing are the keys to a successful business.
What design principles do you emphasise most in your collections?
My designs are characterised by the unique combination of superb quality, innovative craftsmanship and effortless elegance.
What are other interesting projects or companies based in Budapest?
Hello Wood is a very interesting concept. It's a design studio based in Budapest as well as an international architecture and educational platform which organises workshops in Hungary and beyond.