Global Young Designer Spotlight: Luisa Dames of aeydē

Tue, 12 May 2020
aeyde

A walkabout with aeydē, the shoe brand rescuing our feet from a life of boredom.

Founded in 2015 by Luisa Krogmann (now Dames) and Constantin Langholz-Baikousis, aeydē has put one foot in front of the other to become the lust-worthy accessories line it is today. With products designed in Berlin and made in Italy, the brand champions creativity and quality above all else. Case in point: the GIGI, a sharp, square-toed ballerina pump with a contrasting python-print toe cap finished with a hand-sewn, quality-assured signature red stitch. Chic, with a little kick.

We met at aeydē’s HQ in Berlin – on the border between the hyper-cool Mitte and Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg districts – where Co-Founder, Managing Partner and Chief Creative Officer Luisa is getting revved up for a day spent in the studio with back-to-back Brahms to get her well-booted feet tapping in double time

Brand:

aeydē

Designer name:

Luisa Dames, Co-Founder and Chief Brand Director

Origins:

Germany

Homebase:

Berlin

Type of Brand:

Shoes

Where did you grow up? How did this place shape or inform you?

I was born and raised in the countryside close to Hannover. Growing up in the great outdoors surrounded by nature is a pure luxury and definitely an experience that shaped me. The unspoiled landscape in this region – from farmland to deep woods with small villages – is a great source for inspiration.

Your earliest fashion memory is…

When I was 12, my grandmother gave me her old manual sewing machine and I started to create little pieces – dresses, skirts or pants. I loved the handcrafting process.

Why “aeydē”?

The brand’s name aeydē [ˈeɪdi] derives from Edith. It symbolises a personal yet universal identity that represents fierce, independent and modern women – the driving force behind everything we do.

Who is the aeydē customer?

Our customer is a modern woman who appreciates high-quality, simple yet feminine design. She is defining luxury her own form of luxury and mixes pre-loved vintage pieces with a long-wearing pair of boots.

Where is your studio and what does it look like?

Our headquarters are located in the heart of Berlin, on the urban square of Strausberger Platz, directly on the border between the districts of Mitte and Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg. The historical building was created on Karl-Marx-Allee, the former grand boulevard of the GDR – the monumental architecture here is really impressive. Inside our office, we keep the design clean and simple: natural light through big windows, a few white walls and high ceilings.

What songs do you have on repeat in your studio?

Always classical music. At the moment, I love A German Requiem by Brahms.

Does being based in Berlin afford you a greater creative licence?

Looking at the international fashion industry, Berlin is quite offbeat. But when you observe the art and culture, for me Berlin is the free-thinking, creative centre of Europe. The city is characterised by niche galleries, a strong subculture as well as amazing big theatres and museums.

All your products are manufactured by family-owned factories in Tuscany. Why?

We work with three family-run manufacturers, each focusing on a different product group. This way, our whole production is localised in one region. We’ve also established a sourcing office to obtain the best materials for our production.

Unpack your slogan: “making everyday modern”…

It embodies our approach to product design and our mindset. We want to create contemporary, luxury goods driven by the zeitgeist.

If you could see your designs worn by anyone, dead or alive, who would it be?

There are so many women coming to my mind, from global opinion leaders such as Oprah Winfrey or Michelle Obama to actresses who I’ve loved since my youth, like Jennifer Aniston or Gwyneth Paltrow (the 90s icons) – but an anarchistic character like art icon Peggy Guggenheim would be fun!

Shop your own line. What are three of your favourite pieces?

In general, boots are my favourite shoes – LEANDRA and RUBY have been in our collection since the beginning, and I love their timeless and modern shape. BELLE was launched this year and is one of my most beloved boots this year.

Other than aeydē, what brands are in your closet?

Kassl Editions, Totême, Joseph, ARKET and Equipment.

What have been some of the greatest challenges in launching and running aeydē?

The biggest challenge was definitely the financial part, including raising money. Building up a successful team and finding the people who speak the same language is another enormous accomplishment.

What role has social media played in your brand’s growth?

We started as a direct-to-consumer brand in 2015 – it was two years before we started our first partnership with a retailer. By then, we were an established brand in some European markets because we had built a strong community through social media – it’s one of the biggest factors in the growth of the company.

Is travel a source of inspiration?

Yes, of course. I love to spend my summers in Europe. Wherever you go – be it Greece, Italy or Sweden – you find a huge variety in nature, culture, food and people.

Three destinations on your travel wish list…

Antwerp, Iceland and St Petersburg.

Where is your favourite place in the world and why?

My home; it’s my source of inner peace and inspiration, plus it keeps me grounded.

What are you reading right now?

Die Stein-Strategie by Holm Friebe, What You Do is Who You Are by Ben Horowitz and Empty Hearts by Juli Zeh.

What podcasts are you listening to?

The Business of Fashion Podcast for all insights in the fashion industry and I love the Goop podcast when it comes to lifestyle and well-being topics.

If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would it be?

I guess it would still be my home. In these uncertain times, my home is my anchor more than ever.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

My father used to say: “If you don’t want to listen, find out the hard way.”

What’s next for aeydē?

At the moment, we’re rearranging things in new ways, but it’s changing day to day. Everything is on the move, which is challenging and inspiring at the same time. We will definitely focus more on our roots as a direct-to-consumer brand.

Mini-Guide to Berlin

STAY: SO/ Berlin Das Stue EAT: Baldon DRINK: Victoria Bar SHOP: Modulor, a unique store with materials for architects, designers, creatives and makers DO: Flâneuring through the galleries around Potsdamer Straße. Try Esther Schipper and Klosterfelde Edition.

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