Co-founded by Jack Harper and Nosa Aiworo, the streetwear brand AELIZA has quickly become one of fashion’s leading choices for contemporary, everyday clothing. The London based duo get their inspiration from their individual philosophies, creating collections that spark contemplation, creativity and introspection. AELIZA’s sleek aesthetic has got it into spaces such as the Hypebeast Flea convention, giving audiences a chance to preview collections and discuss with the designers personally. After a busy year of keeping up with high demand, Co-founder Nosa sat with GUAP to discuss origin, influence and the future of AELIZA.
GUAP: What is the meaning behind “AELIZA”?
Nosa: In short, AELIZA is the dialogical study of the autonomous individual. This is basically the study of oneself, which we believe can occur through ongoing conversations. We feel this is especially relevant within today’s times, where identity crisis is at an all time high. AELIZA hopes to be a vessel in which people can be comfortable with themselves without backlash or scrutiny.
GUAP: Your collections tend to reflect introspection as well as connectivity. How do these two ideas influence your creative process?
Nosa: We care about our audience’s needs and align them with our practices in order to create a successful outreach. To balance this out, our processes are quite thorough, we don’t cut corners. We’re quite intentional with our creative processes and make sure that every step ties in with our audience contextually.
GUAP: How would you describe your journey with the brand since launching in 2020?
Nosa: It’s been an honest journey that has allowed us to understand the importance of having a good foundation. Like I mentioned previously, we don’t cut corners which means that some processes may seem a bit tedious to others. Nevertheless, the work has to get done, and as a result, it’s reflected in the output. We’ve been able to explore these conversations to the point where we expand them to public grounds such as our parties, installation pop-ups and various community involvements.
GUAP: Your pieces tend to stand out with their fantastic bold colour blocks and unique slogan iconography. What inspired this specific style of branding?
Nosa: Jack’s background is in graphic design and is heavily inspired by philosophical diagrams and 60s pop art (alongside modern design). When it comes to typefaces, again, the branding is quite literally smooth in the sense that everything is curved and not sharp. We feel this way is more inviting and aligns with the brand contextually.
GUAP: How do you see your ethos of centering individuality and reflection influencing your consumers?
Nosa: We see this as an opportunity for our audience to participate in these conversations and put them into practice. For example, our “Make It Your Own” which encourages the owner of a blank piece to customise the colour-way and overall style. The whole idea of the brand is individuality so it’s important we allow people to make their own mark of expression.
GUAP: You recently held a “book for a bag” swap earlier this year. Where did this idea come from?
Nosa: The whole point of “book for a bag” was a way to promote our introduction into larger accessories but to also create a way in which we could be more interactive with our audience. We held the pop-up at Reference Point. People would exchange their book for our A5 Messenger bag. It turned out to be successful. We thought this would be an appropriate avenue to explore as Aeliza is very contextual. Pretty much everything we reference is from books, documentaries etc. An activation that reflects parts of the brand ethos is very important to us.
GUAP: Your latest collection “Autonomy” came out this month and has rapidly sold out. What inspired the concept of this drop and its campaign shoot?
Nosa: Our latest collection was heavily based on the idea of freedom and what it means to be free in this day and age. In Jack’s words; “this symbolizes perspective, we want us all to be closer and by showcasing people’s different perspectives which we’ve not filtered in any way, I hope people see differences and similarities. Ultimately I want people to live their truth. And that is by owning up to their own sense of individualism”. – Hypebeast June 2023
We wanted to capture the models’ versions of freedom and have them presented like gallery pieces alongside their campaign looks.
GUAP: AELIZA has quickly become one of the most compelling brands to watch. What can we expect from you in the new year?
Nosa: We hope to continue to grow and expand through different medium output activations throughout the year. It will be an exciting year for everyone.
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