It is often said that without courage you cannot do anything consistently. And it took courage for Ellie Shabatian, the designer behind Aaron Ashe, to leave a successful career as a corporate attorney and launch her collection with no hands-on industry experience. “I literally left the legal profession and educated myself on the business end of fashion and how to market my line. I didn’t apprentice with anyone. I did this all on my own.”
Though the line has only been around for a little under two years, Ellie has taken Aaron Ashe—named after her parents—from a fledgling start-up to having her collection sold in Henri Bendel, Scoop NYC, and Fred Segal stores, as well as being featured in InStyle, Lucky, and People Style Watch magazines.
Aaron Ashe is designed for the contemporary woman who is looking for fashion-forward looks that can easily translate from the office to a downtown soiree. “I wanted to have a collection where women could wear things casually with jeans or a little more formal for work, or dress it up for a night out on the town. Prior to designing, I worked in the corporate world and I always wanted looks that were more versatile and could be dressed up or dressed down.”
Ellie’s S/S 2010 collection draws inspiration from Brazil. “Brazil is one of my favorite places in the world. When I think about Brazil, I think about the sun and the sea, and the gorgeous flora. I always name my collections after a city that I love.” This affection for all things Brazilian is reflected in colorful, flirty prints that reference the lush, tropical foliage and lacy embellishments that conjure up images of sensual Brazilian nights. “This season I wanted my collection to be more feminine, so I did a lace back because it could be more flirty as it related to lingerie. The lace details add a sheer sexiness without being too revealing.”
Shoppers will be pleased to find that Aaron Ashe’s tops retail from $135 to $200 and dresses from $180 to $275. Also, Aaron Ashe’s wildly popular Paris skirt, which retails for around $240, is a great holiday addition for those special Christmas festivities or New Year’s Eve parties.
By bravely starting her line during this economic downturn, Ellie Shabatian is making a strong statement that her design aesthetic is solid enough to withstand the mercurial vicissitudes of the American market. “I have been very fortunate. I started my line when the economy was already down, so I designed my collection with versatility and price in mind.”
With the success of her current collection, Ellie is setting her sights on designing eveningwear. And with the same courage that it took to leave the corporate world and embark on journey to creativity and self-discovery, it is certain that she will make it happen.
Aaron Ashe can be found in Henri Bendel, Scoop NYC, Fred Segal, Lisa Kline, National Jeans, and Hemline stores. For more information, go to aaronashe.com. Photos are courtesy of bcahillpr.