An Introduction To Aries | Existing Somewhere in Between Fashion and Art
Words: Ali George Hinkins
From the outside looking in, Aries may look like your run-of-the-mill nouveau streetwear brand, but there is so much more to it than that. If I stood by that narrative, it would be a true disservice to Sofia Prantera and Fergus Purcell’s label. There is always more to the likes of Aries than what you see on the surface and I’m here to peel some of those layers back to explore the inner workings in greater depth.
Established in 2010, Aries serves as an external commentary of its founders, Sofia Prantera and Fergus Purcell, experiences with everything-80s from the rising streetwear scene to periodic garment design and rave culture. With a shared interest in the convergence of streetwear and high-end fashion, Purcell and Prantera founded Aries to serve their personal design tastes after previously collaborating on the Silas label before it ceased to exist.
Now, though, Aries exists in the expansive realm of streetwear amongst the likes of Palace, Stüssy and Supreme where their designs know no bounds and are not limited to t-shirts and hoodies. Instead, its breadth of design is seriously impressive, excelling in its graphic-blazon pieces and premium offering – suiting, outerwear and knitwear, for example – which is what they want to serve as its long-lasting legacy.
Embodying a sense of nostalgia in its designs, Aries has successfully captured a feeling from that era that only those who were there to live it can relate to. Despite not growing up during the 80s, it feels oddly reminiscent to me and is reciprocated through each of their original designs, whether it is a graphic t-shirt or a piece of knitwear. Aries’ phenomenal success can be partly attributed to its ability to connect with its customers on a deeper level beyond material possessions – it incites something inside them that you don’t get with other streetwear labels, bar the top dogs. The nostalgia of early streetwear which they effortlessly reference is only possible considering they were there in the 90s to live and breathe it.
Despite its ‘No Problemo’ carefree attitude, do not be fooled into thinking that Aries does things haphazardly. As a matter of fact, Aries boasts an air of rebellion, refusing to adhere to traditional design conventions by filtering its products into three groups, ‘Women, Men & Don’t Care’. It could be said that this is spurred on by Prantera being one of a handful of female founders in the streetwear-fashion sector, but that’s pure speculation. Realistically, the garments speak for themselves and do not require categorisation in today’s day and age. Let the customer decide for themself.
For a brand that was founded 13 years ago, Aries has some serious legs on it and it looks as if they don’t plan on slowing down anytime soon. Not only is this evident in their back catalogue of
collaborations, crossing into premium sportswear with Tommy Hilfiger and going back to its skating roots with Vans, but through another venture that saw them take things to the next level and bring more autonomy into their operation. Recently, Aries expanded its business operations with its first brick-and-mortar store, a sprawling 4000ft square space located in London’s Soho district, a culturally significant area for Aries’ roots, where it will be at home with brands occupying a similar space including Palace, Daily Paper and Eytys. Spanning two floors, it will feature a mix of current Aries products as well as collaborative goods made with select partners and pop-ups from a carefully curated rotation of brands selling books, vintage products and books, among other things. The lower floor will be reserved for limited edition items as well as a space to host installations, events and experiences. Besides functioning as a commercial space, Aries’ Soho flagship will double as a physical manifestation of the brand and of Purcell and Prantera’s combined aesthetic vision.
Welcoming Aries into its inner circle of brands, HHV has received a hearty array of its Spring/Summer ‘23 wares, across numerous categories from accessories, knitwear, shirting, tees, dresses and headwear. There are a handful of styles including the Mini Problemo Sweatshirt, Temple SS Shirt and Desert Trip Dip-Dye Tee that feature custom Aries graphic artwork that may be familiar to followers of the brand, including its ‘temple’ logo, ‘No Problemo’ motif and tie-dye pattern.
Aries is now available now via HHV’s online store. Although, if you have a chance, it’s always worth checking it out in person from HHV’s physical store.
Grünberger Str. 54, 10245 Berlin.