My Grandma Eleanor was born in Budapest, Hungary. Anything Hungarian fascinates me. That’s why reading that Eastern Europe is becoming a new and unexpected growing fashion hub sparked my interest. In 2012, contemporary women’s wear brand Aeron was founded by Eszter Aron, its head designer, and three friends. Vivien Laszloffy joined the business as chief executive in 2015; Ms. Laszloffy says that the label’s philosophy is to be a brand “that people will recognize and know is from Budapest, in the same way people look at Acne and know it’s from Sweden. People say it is against the odds to build a brand from here, rather than move to Paris or Milan, but actually we see it as an advantage. Everyone has a vision in their minds of what a French or Italian brand looks like. But no one can imagine a brand from Budapest yet. And so we can seize that space and make it our own.” Ms. Laszloffy said the success that Aeron has seen signing on with Itochu, one of Japan’s largest trading companies, has boosted morale at home and put the brand in a new league: “The workers have always worked for foreign companies; now they are part of a Hungarian success story.”
Now, when I visit the place where my Grandma Eleanor was born – I can also check out the fashion and the Aeron brand, whose “minimalist aesthetic and techno-fabrics” are helping to bring success home to Hungary.