Exclusive: Aries’ New Fashion Film Celebrates the Awkwardness of Youth

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Aries Spring/Summer 2023
Aries Spring/Summer 2023Photography by David Sims

With a nostalgic film debuting exclusively for AnOther, the streetwear label’s collection for Spring/Summer 2023 captures the tender years of juvenescence

To be young. It’s a beautiful thing; the gawkiness, those innocent misjudgements – they’re intrinsic to the awkward, inevitable act of growing up. It’s adult life that’s scarier. For Spring/Summer 2023, London streetwear brand Aries has presented a new collection that distils this coming-of-age period, as an ode to the rawness of youth. 

“It’s been quite a mental few weeks,” says Sofia Prantera, the founder of Aries, over Zoom. “But I’m hoping I’m at the end of it rather than the beginning.” The Italian-born, London-based designer established Aries in 2012 with unisex clothing for skaters – before skater style’s revival with those beyond the skating realm, and a time when gender binaries were more rigid within the subculture. Now, Aries is probably best known for its casualwear with the graphic slogan “No Problemo” which captures the nonchalant sentiments of the label itself. Tuning into the young new wave is key to Prantera’s Aries formula.

Their new collection, titled Taking off, is captured in two lookbooks shot by David Sims and Douglas Irvine, and a fashion film by Dario Vigorito and Aries. “When I sat down with David Sims, we asked, ‘How do we distil this collection?’ And we identified these characters, and showed them separately.”

The collection was then split into five archetypes: the Camden punk, the 90s casual, the teenage romantic, the cultist and the trust fund baby. Through these recognisable archetypes – supported by Sofia Prantera and David Sims’ thoughtful casting – a storyline was formed through the collection; one where we can recognise ourselves and others as familiar characters within the world of Aries.

Hastily shot after the two lookbooks, Prantera admits the film was “kind of forgotten about.” The cast of models gently and clumsily sing along to Do You Have Friends in Your Dreams, a dreamy unreleased song by Los Angeles-based band VNP. None of the cast are talented vocalists (it feels more reminiscent of a school choir performance), but Prantera found this to be serendipitous. “Just the rawness of it. It’s heartbreaking. I thought, ‘Is it because they look like my kids?’ It makes me so nostalgic. For me, it [best] tells the story of the collection and the people who are in it.”

The film stands as a reaction against today’s fast-paced hunger for media. “Normally I would do things that are really fast, really edgy and really hard. We found ourselves listening to the track and doing something that was really dreamy and kind of slow.” These ideas meld with the softness of the clothing and the inclusive, subversive ethos of the label. Casual denim in skater shapes and treatments are core to the collection along with slouchy shirting, while more surprising pieces like a newspaper-print ruff and leather toolbelt skirts exist elsewhere, unified in the world of Aries – all with the carabiner motif running throughout. 

“As your career evolves you become nostalgic for the rawness of what you experienced before. I think fashion has recently become very high-tech and very polished, and I wanted to go back to a slight simplicity of imagery, and a simplicity of communication.” An admittedly nostalgic mother of two who employs a young team, Prantera’s attachment to the young skater subculture feels intrinsic to her being. “There's beauty to any kind of youth, and that's lovely to celebrate. Actually, the more awkward it is, the more interesting it is, and the more beautiful it is.”