Aaron, you’ve had an impressive career as a filmmaker within the fashion industry, travelling around the world and attending numerous tell us a bit about how it all began?
Thank you, though I still feel I have a long way to go. After graduating in film from university, like many young graduates I was a little scared, and didn’t know where to begin. I knew that in order to start my film career I’d need to intern, or get a runner’s job somewhere. However I didn’t have a single contact in the industry. My older brother Reuben was working as a freelance stylist at the time for small print publications like RWD. He suggested that while I was figuring out my next move, I could work with him. Style and fashion were always my other great passions, so I felt as long as I could incorporate my degree into what we did I’d be up for it. I also knew it’d keep my father off my back for not wasting three years at university. We then had the great/crazy idea of creating a men’s style consultancy. We wanted to be the male version of Trinny and Susannah. As you can imagine two young, inexperienced brown boys trying to teach men (who at the time weren’t too receptive to style advice) how to dress – the business feel flat on its face.
What did work however was the blog. We wanted to create a blog to help market the service at the time – this was the early days of social. Once I discovered the world of content (this term hadn’t been created back then) I was sold. I read everything under the sun on digital marketing, film, DIY filmmaking, branding, self development, and so on. The website took off and became Individualism, the leading menswear website in the UK. We then grew the team into a collective and it became a platform for young creatives to experiment and play and create great work. We helped blood many great individuals in style whom are doing amazing things now. We pioneered a lot of video tutorials, store tours, style events to take our community offline and then create content off the back of it and go back online again. It was a great time to be in digital as there were no rules.
Although Individualism was growing as a brand it was difficult to monetise. I was working as a stylist at Topman at the time and saw the editor of Esquireon the shop floor – I was a huge fan. I approached him as asked for an internship. He took up my offer an two weeks later I was at Esquire trying to create all sorts of cool style videos. I was in heaven I couldn’t believe it. The second day of the internship the editor said he was leaving for a new company (that some of us wouldn’t have heard of called Mr Porter). That editor was Jeremy Langmead. I was gutted he was leaving but I stayed in touch.
I continued to work on Individualism and got a small job at a creative agency doing videography. A year later Jeremy DM-ed me on Twitter and said was a position at Mr Porter that I may be good for. I was probably the least experienced applicant in regards to technical film knowledge but I was doing interesting things in digital with Individualism, and I had a good style knowledge to compliment my film background. I got the job and the rest is history. Phew, that was long!
Read the full exclusive interview with the talented Aaron here.