AIDA in Shoreditch is quickly becoming a firm favourite. By combining a boutique featuring select menswear and womenswear brands, a coffee shop with fresh cakes, pastries, and various drinks, and the odd live music performer, Aida aims to make you feel right at home as soon as you enter, no matter your interests. We find out why family is important at AIDA and just how the store came to be.
COZY MAG: AIDA is affectionately named after your grandmother, tell us more about your decision to name the store after her.
AIDA: Our nan was a huge part of our lives growing up. We lived together, did everything together, so in a lot of ways she was like another parent to us. When we decided to open AIDA we brainstormed a lot of different names for the store. As soon as AIDA was suggested it's the first name everyone immediately agreed on! It just made sense. The store represents so many different elements of our nan.
CM: Why did you all decide to work together on the store? Are there challenges when working with family members, or do you find it easy?
A: We've always been a really close family unit, so we're used to spending a lot (perhaps too much!) time together. Working together has been challenging but it's also a lot of fun. It makes it feel less like work, our 'business meetings' are basically family gatherings! The idea for AIDA came about really naturally. We were on a family holiday and were just brainstorming ideas. Before we knew it we had this shared vision for a lifestyle store that we then became intent on making a reality!
CM: What are some of your favourite brands that you stock in-store?
A: Handsom and Howlin' are 2 definite favourites. The brand values, design and aesthetics are so strong. We always look forward to those buying appointments the most!
CM: Tell us more about the concept behind AIDA, did you have a clear vision or did it develop over time?
A: A bit of both I guess. We always knew what we wanted the store to represent. For us it always had to extend beyond traditional retail. We wanted to create a space that could be shared and enjoyed, that could be used to celebrate different talents and to create community events and unique experiences. But there are other elements, like the branding and store aesthetics which have developed over time.
CM: Where would your dream AIDA store be?
A: We love where AIDA is located, I don't think we'd move it anywhere else. Shoreditch is changing a lot, parts for the better, parts not! But that's the same for every location. It's still got a great energy and mix of people.
CM: Have you all always been interested in fashion?
A: Yes. Perhaps not in a traditional sense! None of us are serial shoppers or fashion addicts. But our parents having a background in fashion retail has definitely left us with a huge appreciation for design, quality, and the production of beautiful garments.
CM: What's next for AIDA?
A: We always have so many ideas and projects on the go at once - it could take a number of directions! Right now we are really focusing on our online presence and there are some really exciting events in the pipeline...
Interview by Neela Choudhury-Reid @foxyneela