Aiko: A Brand To Watch This Fall
Once something of an in-between lot, the contemporary market has matured into a shark tank over the years. It’s now a plum place for designers to kickstart their lines or for established brands to launch a diffusion collection. But competition or not, Cynthia Mittweg’s Aiko line is attracting all the right kinds of attention. She launched her brand, named for the Japanese word for “lovely child,” for Holiday 2010 and already Theory’s power mogul Andrew Rosen (who recently with a partner acquired a majority stake in Proenza Schouler) has invested. She was also recently featured on Vogue.com for an exclusive peek at Aiko’s Resort 2011 collection. These days, the line is stocked at Barneys New York, Saks Fifth Avenue, Ron Herman, Harvey Nichols, Lane Crawford, and about 150 boutiques worldwide.
Mittweg’s story all starts with a simple sweatshirt. The daughter of a Hollywood exec has taken on the classic American shape and tweaked it into all sorts of hip incarnations. But it’s less California, as one might expect, than a twist on city style. For instance, she adds black leather sleeves to a charcoal knit sweatshirt for her Fall 2011 “Kwan” top.
That new take on easy dressing has all the cool girls clamoring. Lily Kwong, Charlotte Kidd and Lydia Hearst hosted a fete for Aiko at the Jane hotel in NYC at the end of July, where Kidd debuted a video (see below) featuring Hearst for the line’s Fall 2011 collection.
All images: Aiko
By: Bee-Shyuan Chang