Founded by Sofia Prantera (formerly of Silas) and Fergus Purcell (of that Palace logo and those Marc by Marc Jacobs graphics), womenswear label Aries has enjoyed a steady wave of attention since its SS13 inception.
Forgoing the now-typical social media strategy observed by so many young labels, its popularity instead has arisen due both to the two designers’ own industry wide prominence, and its impeccably nonchalant aesthetic.
“This is high quality womenswear so it requires a certain delicacy in approach,” Purcell told Clash last year (here). “It’s a question of colliding my trashy street aesthetic with Sofi’s more sophisticated sensibility.”
Stylist-cum-editor Alice Goddard has played model for its campaigns, and both Selfridges and Matchesfashion.com are stockists; the recent press day trail boasted more to come too.
It was London boutique The Goodhood Store though, who first took a chance on the team. Explains co-founder Jo Sindle: “Aries was EXACTLY what I was looking for at the time it launched. I was going through a period with the women's buying where I was feeling like there weren't enough brands out there to stock in our store for women.”
“I was looking for new things but not finding them,” she continues, “there seemed a real lack of women's brands that sat between high street and designer fashion which were really cool, or well made, or had a clear and good brand image...”
Aries she says, represents exactly what the womenswear offering at Goodhood is all about: “It has its roots in culture but fuses fashion and casual pieces perfectly.”
“When Aries was first conceived,” adds Sofia, “streetwear for women had disappeared, there were no independent stores carrying it. Goodhood was the only store we could think of that still did and was a perfect match. I think in hindsight we would have been very worried if they hadn't bought it.”
It’s perhaps no surprise then, that the two have teamed up for an exclusive collaboration, available in-store and online from today.
The finale in a series of hook ups celebrating Goodhood’s new home (having recently upped its physical sticks from Coronet Street around the corner to Curtain Road), the monochrome collection boasts four pieces in place of the others solitary item.
“We felt it was important to do more and represent Aries as a brand,” explains Sindle, “and this collab is the precursor to a small capsule collection that will come next year in April.”
Made up of two long sleeve tees, a skirt and pair of jeans, each branded with the Aries Grecian logo, the latter two doused in sporadic symbols, the polite collection will no doubt appeal to both consumers.
“I think there is an element of rebellion and irreverence in what we do,” states Sofia of what links the two. “Goodhood attracts a more left-field customer who is interested in subcultures, and the history behind a brand. There are very few womenswear brands and stores that come from a love of counter culture, this is because it is difficult to reconcile a passion for fashion with an anti-fashion attitude.”
“But,” she says, “I think womenswear is changing and the new generations are happier to embrace the contradiction between buying clothes, caring about your appearance and being a strong independent individual. We also share a fashion design background and a love for beautifully made casualwear.”
“Sofia and I have been talking about doing something together since we first started to sell Aries,” interrupts Jo, “we have very similar ideas about clothes and it seemed a totally natural thing to do, to have some special product. It was an easy process.”
Sofia agrees: “We have similar taste in clothes, and it was nice to give something back, give them an exclusive.”
Words: Zoe Whitfield