The Essence of Empowerment – Aeron by Eszter Áron

Words:
Yana McKillop

Since launching her brand Aeron in 2012, Budapest-born and-raised designer Eszter Áron has navigated independently managing a business, attracting a significant investor such as Vanguards, becoming a mother and taking her company through the pandemic. She has also created a community of like-minded women along the way who support the brand in a very organic way. Here, we’re talking with the designer about how she manages all sides of the business, where she draws her inspiration, and what’s next for Aeron.

Photographed by István Lábady

Yana McKillop: You founded Aeron in 2012, tell us how did the brand come about and a bit about the journey you’ve been on since then?
Eszter Áron: The idea was born from a deep desire I didn’t believe could come to life. I felt I lacked the resources to make it happen, but with the faith and openness of an angel investor, we took the plunge. By then, I had worked for various fashion businesses that built my self-confidence to start. Since then, many influences and business partners have joined our journey, and we continuously grow, driven by unwavering enthusiasm and energy. AERON is integral to my life, and maturity marks the current state of the brand, the products, and myself. I’ve learned much and have grown into this position, understanding my role.
YM: You had to change your strategy during the pandemic shifting the brand from tailoring to knitwear as the core product. You have since expanded into leather and more versatile range of products. Tell us how did you find that shift and how do you think it translated to your customer?
EA: Tailoring has always been part of our heritage, but around quarantine, it shifted to an emphasis on knitwear. We started to notice that our clients are more open to knitwear, gravitating towards certain groups and families. Although it never changed our core idea of building a wardrobe that lasts, and it feels complete with knitwear, suiting, leather, and satin, to mention a few.
YM: I love your approach to knitwear which feels innovative yet very relaxed and easy. I have a twin set of sheer tank and cardigan in an intricate pattern that gets compliments every time I wear it. How do you find inspiration for reinterpreting knitwear and making it your own?
EA: We took inspiration from archival pieces and experimented with knitting techniques to create unique textures. The focus is on how it feels to wear each piece. Knitwear is a second skin, and in design, the emphasis is placed on the material, quality, and craftsmanship.

Photographed by Nikolett Kustos

YM: I know that you love designing spaces and decorated your Budapest flat yourself filling it with vintage pieces sourced in the local flea market. Tell us about what draws you most in interior design and whether it translates into your work?
EA: I’m specifically drawn to Art Deco and Bauhaus, but rather the curves than the decorative motifs or geometric elements. There’s a certain mood that I like in both interior design pieces and architectural details, they have a unique language. For example, for the Spring/Summer 2024 lookbook, we chose the Villa Walter Rózsi for location, which is not only a beautiful modernist building but it is also inspiring that it was co-designed by a female architect, Eszter Pécsi.
YM: I read in one of your interviews that coming from the post-Soviet culture, you always had a keen interest in fashion as you were deprived of it at the beginning. I found this statement very interesting as I also come from a former Soviet country and fashion was and still is very much a form of escapism for me. Do you think that experience still influences your design and in what way?
EA: From my childhood, it had a significant impact on me that my mom regularly visited boutiques in Vienna, where she purchased sophisticated, high-quality knitwear pieces that weren’t available at home. Her taste was refined and elegant, and through her, a whole new world opened up to me. It was distant and close at the same time. The fashion she surrounded herself with shaped my sense of aesthetics and as a designer I aim to make something similar locally. Something that makes you feel comfortable and confident wearing throughout the day.
YM: You have quite a noticeable and organic community loyal to Aeron – I loved your Mother’s Day Campaign on Instagram. What draws you to these women?
EA: It’s inspiring to see the incredible strength women can mobilize as mothers while managing fulltime jobs and various responsibilities. The power and energy they demonstrate is truly remarkable. They embody the essence of empowerment, not just for themselves, but for everyone around them. It’s this incredible spirit that we celebrate and support, recognizing their indispensable role.

Photographed by István Lábady

Photographed by Nikolett Kustos

YM: You’re a mother of a young girl. I also have two small boys and I always think how hard it is for a woman to be juggling both being a mother and work in such a dynamic industry as fashion with constant deadlines and delivery schedules. Can you share some life hacks how do you manage both?
EA: It’s a constant struggle (laughs), but it’s crucial to keep things in balance. Often, there isn’t much time left beyond these two priorities: my family and my job. Having support fundamentally helps and having a plan is essential. Finding the rhythm of how these two aspects can work together and harmonising them, to maintain a healthy balance is very important to me. The speed and pace are different on each side, transitioning from one to the other, and tuning into the rhythm, doesn’t always work out well. My daughter, Roni, starts pre-school in September, which means that she’s at the beginning to manage her own little life (laughs). But it was different when she was younger and needed constant attention. I’m always there when things don’t go well, trying to talk it out with her and apologize if I’ve made a mistake. Highlighting issues, discussing them, and understanding each other are crucial.
YM: Can you tell us about the Aeron woman? Who is she? What does she like?
EA: I always think about her as someone who is brave, open-minded, experimental and lives in the very moment. Not a specific image but a powerful energy that represents the AERON woman.
YM: Describe your perfect day?
EA: At the end of a season, there’s a lookbook shoot or a fashion show, which is like a visual conclusion of a collection. It meets with characters, and all the time spent working on it comes to fruition. It feels incredible to see as the picture comes together. There are also very special days with my daughter, Roni, called ‘girls’ day’, inspired by a fairy tale book she adores — these days just for the two of us, spending time together.
YM: What is next for Aeron?
EA: Curiosity, openness, and mindset. Always returning to somewhere from which something new is born. Budapest is our home, but travel is important to us, connecting within the industry, and enjoying exploring more to embrace diversity. These are shaping our path.
SEE SIMILAR POSTS