THE PERFECT PRINT
Aeon, the UK’s newest and hottest brand is quickly rising to the top of the style stakes for all fashion-forward females. Founded by Lauren Baxter, a previous designer for River Island, Topshop and Asos, who decided to follow her love for colour and print and go at it alone. After a year of globe-trotting and discovering some of the world’s most beautiful places (and creating an enviable Instagram feed along the way) Lauren injected her daily inspirations into creating her now eponymous label.
We spoke exclusively with the woman behind the print powered label to find out everything from starting a brand, travelling the world and tips for aspiring designers…
Firstly, tell us a little bit about yourself?
I graduated in 2010 and went straight to work as a Print Designer for River Island. After a few years, I moved on to work for a supplier, where I designed for high street brands including Topshop and Asos. After working under the style direction of other brands, I was craving that freedom, where I created the brief rather than another company. I have always wanted to start my own label, as do many designers, but it’s not necessarily that simple. Leaving my job in the industry was a big step to take! But after a year’s break of travelling, the timing was right to finally make that move.
Secondly, tell us about Aeon. How and where did it all begin?
Whilst I was away, I began working on some new prints based on what inspired me at each location I came across. It wasn’t until I had returned that I started putting a collection together and through that, the idea of Aeon was born. Combined with my design skills and my partner’s business experience, it was the perfect combination to help kick start the company. We felt very strong about not only the product looking desirable but the quality of the garments too. Initially, it was all about the print, but as the team started to grow, we quickly found a love for combining statement prints with clean and current silhouettes.
The brand is based around beautiful prints. Where does the inspiration come from?
Our initial goal is to create a print that is just simply going to appeal to the Aeon girl. It’s all about getting the right combination, the right colours and composition. Some of the prints are more engineered with multiple elements such as Moroccan mosaic tiles layered with Japanese flowers, whilst some of our other prints are based on a much simpler concept, such as our ‘Rosa’ Bomber Jacket (as seen on some of the industry’s top bloggers).
Breaking into the market is tough. Why do you think Aeon has been so well received?
I think people are always subconsciously on the lookout for something different. When they see something that grabs their attention and something that ticks all the right boxes, it inevitably draws them in. We didn’t set out to be a premium brand, we wanted to be something that has a premium feel but at a competitive price most can afford.
For the girl dressed head-to-toe in Aeon, how should she feel? and what should she do?
Adding print and colour to your look is not exactly the safe bet of wearing black. So she should have fun with it, be confident, feel creative. And that should reflect on what she does. It’s an outfit you want to be seen in, day or night.
How do you begin your creative process when designing a collection?
It’s an ongoing thought process. I could be designing Autumn/Winter when an idea for Spring/Summer pops up in my head. There is never a clear beginning nor end. You never know what’s going to catch your eye, but a story eventually begins to build. Research and trends are key but really it all comes down to ‘what do we actually like to wear?’.
What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced when building a brand?
I think the biggest challenges for any starting brand, and any retail company for that matter is getting your name out there. Trying to build brand recognition and notoriety is a serious challenge and unless you have a specific hook it can make or break your brand.
Top 3 tips to aspiring designers?
Have a plan together. Don’t go in blind thinking everything will be easy. It’s a mistake to underestimate how difficult even the smallest aspects of this business are. Be different but be yourself. Following trends in this industry is important to adapt to but don’t lose who you are as a designer in the process. Find your hook, that signature style that will always be yours. Enjoy it…
“If you love what you are producing then that will show through in the final product.”
If you could have anyone alive or dead wear Aeon, who would it be and why?
Rihanna. It might be an obvious choice but she always stands out. She is so playful with her style, yet makes it look so effortless. She transforms her wardrobe and is not scared to mix it up with colour and print.
Finally, we know you’re a fan of Dubai, what are your favourite things to do when visiting the city?
Dubai fascinates me. You can be in the fast paced city one minute, looking up to the vast skyscrapers, then find yourself in the middle of the desert the next. The glamour and detail of the city is a sanctuary for a print designer. And not to forget the shopping! The Souks will always be a favourite! On my next trip, the Dubai Miracle Garden is definitely on the list!
Shop Aeon: Shopaeon.com