Teddy Santis’ Aimé Leon Dore has been one of the hottest brands of this year and following the release of their AW20 collection they do not appear to be slowing down anytime soon. Aimé has been called ‘NYC’s answer to APC’ and perfectly embodies the culture it stands for. Today we are going to take a dive into the brand, its influences, and some favourites from the AW20 collection.
What is Aimé Leon Dore? In its simplest form, Aimé Leon Dore is a New York based fashion brand. Some of the defining aspects of the brand are the way it represents New York style and the way it embodies the culture surrounding the brand. There are many nostalgic references to Teddy Santis’ upbringing, whether referencing his Greek roots via the ‘Molyvos Knit Sweater’, or 90s basketball through the ‘Picasso Dunk Sweater’.
Why is the brand so popular? The brand has skyrocketed in popularity for a variety of reasons. Aimé have collaborated with some huge name brands including New Balance, Woolrich and even Porsche. These collaborations saw incredible success and of course brought a larger audience to the brand. However, it is the quality and attention to detail of their garments which has led the brand to become such a staple on the fashion scene, and kept people coming back for more.
The brand’s attention to detail is unlike any other; this is most clearly seen in their knitwork. Intricate patterns, beautifully selected colours, and impeccable quality have led them to become a favourite on the scene. The brand creates a distinct difference in quality and ethos between other brands associated with the New York streetwear scene. Aimé is not about pumping out graphic tees and capitalizing on hype; they create meaningful connections with their customers through their values and create items that exude authenticity.
A reason the brand appeals to me is their adverts and look books. The creative team behind Aimé Leon Dore not only displays an item of clothing, but they capture the reason why you should buy from the brand; they create a connection with the audience rather than an advert. A personal favourite of mine is the campaign for the collaboration with New Balance on the 827. The advert perfectly highlights the timelessness of their clothes, illustrates classic New York street style, and calls back to the nostalgic advert style of sportswear brands in the 1980s and 1990s.
The brand recently released its AW20 collection to high demand and praise. Staying true to their roots, the collection represents the New York style perfectly. On feet we are seeing a lot of Wallabees, Timberlands, a pair of classic Jordan Chicago 1s, and of course a lot of New Balance. There even appears to be a New Balance 550 collaboration model teased. The collection itself is full of textures and muted colours. Textured knitwear appears often whether in sweaters, cardigans, or scarfs, and appears beautifully executed. A fan favourite, Aimé Leon Dore also will be releasing new fleeces. The brand also seems to be featuring a lot of updated takes on classic pieces, such as tailored trousers, cardigans, and trench coats, and modernizing them for contemporary New York, pairing them with caps, sweatpants, and trainers.
What caught my eye most was not one particular piece, but the way the collection was displayed. The brand perfectly displays a sense of community, a sense of identity, and aims to show why they create clothes, rather than why you should buy from them. Aimé Leon Dore is a brand that puts its values first when designing and that is shown from this collection.