BERLIN — Aeance has taken the next step in its mission to merge the fashion-forward and the functional.The German premium activewear brand is transitioning from strictly direct-to-consumer to wholesale, and has revealed its upcoming collection, a collaboration with Canadian-born, London-based designer Steven Tai.Tai’s women’s wear label, which he shows at London Fashion Week, leans heavily in the direction of quirky girl, including ruffles and pleats formed in unconventional ways. For his Aeance designs, he streamlined and simplified to create active basics with special touches, such as intricate seaming and interesting collars and cuffs. The 19-piece collection for men and women comes in a color palette of butter yellow, coral, petrol, black and white; all in all, there are 82 pieces.“Sportswear has always been an element in my own label, but this project gave me the chance to really explore the point where performance, luxury and comfort meet,” said Tai.“Each seam, finishing and stitch is considered both visually and functionally. Being a bit of a geek, I loved learning about these technical finishings and to have the chance to obsess over all the details of this beautiful collection together with the Aeance team, who are just as passionate about these details as I am,” he continued.At first glance, Tai seems a surprising choice for a minimalist activewear brand, but Aeance cofounder Nadine-Isabelle Baier said the designer understands, and embraces, the brands’ vision.“There are limits in terms of the design in order to guarantee functionality,” explained Baier. “This concept is critical to the brand and has worked very well for us. We are focusing on multidisciplinary collaboration between the sectors of fashion, design and engineering; there are unlimited possibilities for exciting things to come.”Based in Germany, Aeance is manufactured in Portugal from high-quality materials, from merino wool to Italian high-tech mesh — all according to strict eco-standards. The upcoming collection utilizes recycled materials, including both polyamide and elastane for tights, and polyester padding for vests.Aeance releases one non-seasonal collection a year. Its debut, created with Berlin designer Hien Le, launched in November 2015 and is still available. Tai’s collection is scheduled to hit retail in June, priced from 145 to 525 euros ($156 to $565 at current exchange).At first available for purchase solely via its web site, Aeance entered the wholesale market at the end of 2016. Its first collection is selling internationally online at Matchesfashion.com, as well as in Seoul’s Boon the Shop and Munich’s Lodenfrey, among other select stores. Baier said “a strong increase for an eco-conscious lifestyle in the fashion world” was a driving force in the brand’s growth.
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