Fiending for coffee in a creative environment surrounded by clothes in an old shoe warehouse? (oddly specific, we know.) Why not try out AIDA Shoreditch?
If you’ve been a Londoner for a few years now, you must have quite a specific idea of what Shoreditch feels like today. Hmm, what’s the word? Hipster-ish. A gathering of bearded skaters wearing Stan Smiths paired with Carhartt beanies and backpacks. Okay, this is a cliché, but have you ever seen such a dense concentration of all these items anywhere else in London?
Don’t get us wrong though, we love Shoreditch. We love the artisanal shops, the independent businesses, the art, the cosy coffee houses, the vibrant creative scene and the nightlife. Now imagine all these things in one place.
AIDA, located (obviously) in the heart of Shoreditch, is what you’re looking for.
Walking into AIDA feels like walking into a stylish studio. Old beige brick walls are paired with washed out wooden floors, and huge black spotlight lamps illuminate the whole store. The atmosphere is laid back, calm and welcoming.
On the left is an area dedicated to thinking and relaxing – two relatively large wooden tables stand beside a large bar that offers a selection of coffees, teas, fresh juices, smoothies and mouthwatering cakes. The baristas standing behind the counter look like they’re into art (actually the staff too) and are wearing whatever they feel like wearing.
The rest of the space is dedicated to womenswear and homeware, where items are displayed like an installation. A metallic staircase leads to a basement where the menswear can be found. The clothes on show are not the typical statement pieces you would buy and wear once in your lifetime, but rather simple, timeless pieces that never go out of style.
AIDA Shoreditch: The Backstory
The store was founded by four sisters who took over their father’s shoe company and turned it into a AIDA, (named after their nan). The founders wanted the store to reflect the Shoreditch feel – a vibrant, buzzing and creative atmosphere. Speaking to us, Rowan Swale, the store’s stylist said “the sisters wanted a store where the customer experience was very welcoming and informal … It wasn’t just about shopping and buying, they wanted the shop to be a place where people could hang out in a creative space.”
AIDA’s founders also puts great care into researching the brands the store offers. The brands are chosen for their aesthetic, the quality of their materials and strong spirit. “We only support small, ethical brands with stories that fit in AIDA’s philosophy. Our clothes are not very seasonal, but they’re more quality stuff that are going to last a very long time,” says Rowan. So the result is a very Scandi, minimalist concentration of womenswear, menswear, shoes, accessories and homeware.
But AIDA does not settle for just selling clothes (and coffee). Every once in a while, the store brings people together by hosting film and music events. Chosen by the staff, this is a platform for promoting new, up and coming artists. “The events were originally part of wanting to feel somewhere where people come and have a good time, we want to create an AIDA community,” says Rowan.
AIDA Shoreditch helps emerging artists to build themselves name. They would style them, do photoshoots, “we just want to get people involved and feel part of it,” adds Rowan.
So, next time you’re hanging around East why not drop by our favourite concept store, AIDA Shoreditch?
We’ll be there for their next film event which will be a screening of The Reader on the 14th of July. Tickets are £12 per person.