How do you combine streetwear and high-end fashion? That’s exactly what Creative Director Sofia Prantera set out to do when she founded Aries. Since its launch in 2012, the luxury streetwear brand has drawn inspiration from the ‘80s and ’90s, as well as an ongoing passion for contemporary art and culture. Both Aries’ gender-neutral approach and the juxtaposition of different stylistic and social themes make the London-based label a unique player in the game.
90% of all Aries products are made in Italy, a country with a long and rich history in terms of textile production. In the manufacturing process, multiple layers exist to understand and improve a design – this is something that can only be done with experience, skills, and a mindset that is either learned over years or passed down through generations.
You could simply move production to the Far East, but Aries takes a more dedicated approach. Some of the manufacturers have been working with Aries for so long that there’s essentially a personal relationship between each garment sold and the person who made it. From the raw material it’s made from and grown with love and dedication, to the person who irons it before it gets shipped, everything is made with care and quality.
Further typical of Aries is that the label makes smaller collections without making even the slightest sacrifice in the quality of fabrics, printing techniques, dyeing or washing. This results in a longevity that is rarely found in the fashion business. Thus, there is something forward-looking and sustainable about Aries’ way of thinking. Making garments in small batches, from the best raw materials that can be sourced, in a factory where people feel responsible for the product they are making, means not only that the best possible result is achieved, but also that it is less wasteful and environmentally damaging.
Aries’ products are still hand-dyed in Italy, where they are immersed in a sea of color. Aries uses special methods such as ice dyeing, which involves fusing pieces of ice and color powder so that they become one. The result sometimes holds surprises, which gives the batik colors a special touch. For example, Aries achieves a depth with the finish that you don’t get when you dye conservatively with one color tone.