In a landscape of fast fashion and logomania, Aeance stands apart. The minimalist brand is the embodiment of both style and substance; clothing designed to meet the demands—and values—of modern life. Doing more with less, essentially.
“We started with our own needs,” Arendt van Deyk, one half of the duo behind the German label tells Vogue. “We wanted timeless, high-quality clothing—like Jil Sander or The Row—but in a more functional way—breathable, waterproof.” And sustainable, too: 96 per cent of its textiles are recycled, natural, biodegradable or bio-based.
Set up just four years ago by van Deyk and Nadine-Isabelle Baier, Aeance goes against the fashion grain in a number of ways. Firstly, it eschews the traditional fashion calendar in favour of a non-seasonal approach, launching collections only when they are ready. “It is a difficult concept for retailers to grasp,” comments Baier. “The fashion industry is, in general, so [stuck] in its old cycles.”
Aeance: Is this the most sustainable brand yet?
Secondly, collections are concise. The latest, Collection 03, only has nine pieces. “We’re going back in time to when clothes were made to last, hence the timeless quality to our designs,” offers Baier.
Thirdly, it is a fashion brand without a designer. The duo have previously tapped designers Hien Le and Steven Tai to translate their ethos into functional designs. “For the third collection, we decided to give it a new approach,” says van Deyk. Enter celebrated industrial designer Konstantin Grcic. His tailored and streamlined pieces—in a sober colour scheme of black, blue, grey, red and mauve—sit seamlessly with Aeance’s previous two lines. “The idea is that you can build on what you have,” says Baier. “We’re not trying to break through the cycle by constantly creating something new; we’re adding and improving,”
In a final act of rebellion, the pair deplore fashion trends. Athleisure, for instance. “We don’t like the term for us… We sometimes call it ‘athletic fashion’. We like Uniqlo’s ‘life wear’, but we’re a more functional version of that,” says van Deyk. “Athleisure is more casual,” adds Baier. “We’re more refined than that.”
Each radical point of difference is born of the brand’s mission to be as sustainable as possible. “We think that all companies, new or existing, have to do their very best to reduce their impact on the environment and make their product in the most responsible way,” says van Deyk. The pair’s vision has taken them into groundbreaking territory, working with material developers to find the best solutions possible. “[Though] there is no single perfect solution,” laments Baier, “like most things in life, we’re having to use a mix of solutions to address the problems of the fashion industry. ”
Jackets are made from super-fine merino wool from New Zealand and a lightweight Japanese stretch fabric made from recycled nylon. Coats are crafted from a breathable and waterproof fabric using chemical-free ecorepel Bio, which imitates plants’ natural protection from water and aqueous dirt. Trousers are produced using fibres extracted from naturally grown beech wood. And the skirts? The fibre technology in them ensures they would biodegrade to organic matter in just five years if buried.
Athleisure suddenly looks very basic. Long live functional fashion.
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