Tell us a bit about you, your background and Aleo. What made you start your brand?
I have been sewing and designing clothes since the age of 7. I remember losing myself for hours, drawing and trying to figure out patterns for what I wanted to design. It was a personal puzzle that I had fun creating. While completing my university and graduate studies, I had put this creative outlet aside. Once the pandemic hit, I needed to find an alternative way of coping with stress, especially being separated from family and friends. I quickly re-discovered the solace in designing clothes and accessories – this was the beginning of the brand.
Your Instagram page showcases how your clothes mix well with great minimal architecture, art and product design. Can you tell us a bit more about what inspires you?
It can be anything. Sometimes it is a song, a painting or a building for example. I think my creative process is to take any inspiration and express this idea through three main elements which are important to the brand. The first element is the “classic” piece, which informs the frame of the brand – simplicity, elegance, and timelessness. Within the classic frame, nature informs each piece. The goal is to elevate nature and showcase its gift to us in a sustainable way. The bridge between the frame and nature are people – the third element. The celebration of human connection and movement guides how I want to assemble the natural resources to fit within the classic frame. For example, if it is a song, how do I express this feeling in a timeless way? What natural resources will I use to achieve this? Wool or cotton? And, how will it move on the body, or how do I want it to present it on the body. I juggle all three elements to try to express whatever inspired me.
How important are topics like sustainability, diversity and inclusion for you?
All three are fundamental to the brand as it is founded on integrity. My conscience will not allow me to create a piece where I didn’t take every measure to leave the smallest footprint both for the environment, but also for the team that helps bring these ideas to life. It is important to understand that everything we do has a cost.
We ensure that each piece doesn’t have an elevated cost on the wellbeing of the planet, but in addition, the wellbeing of the people we work with. From the manufacturers to the office, everyone counts. Everyone also counts when it comes to our customers. We’re genderless, seasonless with no agenda other than to create quality timeless pieces. Diversity and inclusion naturally occurs with this mindset as we see the value in everyone regardless of shape, colour, sex, gender. Unfortunately, this is contre-courant, but our hope is to help make this ideology mainstream.
The sustainable aspect of Aleo Studio includes a philosophical approach: promoting gratitude, support, respect with an ethical production and a conscious communication. How difficult it is to prioritize these aspects in the business of emergent fashion brands?
The fashion industry has evolved in a way to encourage mass consumption and blind consumers from the exploitation of people and the harms to our planet. The cost of production is high for sustainable quality products which are also produced ethically. It is difficult for emerging brands because the weight of re-educating the public is in your hands, but at the same time you have limited resources. Your voice might not be loud, but it needs to be smart. It certainly triples the hurdles of starting a label, but if you’re passionate about doing things right, it is worth it.
Your debut collection “N°1” doesn’t have a season or a gender, and the color palette is made up by neutral tones, black and white. What should we expect for your next projects?
Please stay tuned.
In the positive spirit of the brand, mention three things that Aléo studio team is grateful for and three goals that you would like to accomplish.
We are grateful for our team, our amazing customers, and the planet. For our first collection we worked with a number of artists to share Aleo Studio through their creative mediums. We want to keep amplifying the voices of other creators, whether that is through art, conversations, or other creators of consciously and intentionally produced goods. We are creating a community that can be reached through our pieces but also through a communal space for expression.
How soon is now
Photography: Marco Giuliano / @marcogiulianoph
Styling: Anca Macavei / @ancamacavei
Fashion: Aleo Studio / @aleo.studio
Interview: Silvia Valente / @silviavalentevi
Editorial assistant: Inga Lavarini / @ilavarini
Soundtrack: Project 5am – Répétition
Model: Dominika at Next Models / @dominikapikula @nextmodelsmilan