This is a woman who knows her way around a shoe. It’s no wonder her eponymous label is fast becoming a sell-out hit with the well-heeled. KULET, a homegrown footwear label founded by Aina and her partner Julie pride an ethos of sensibility in style and practicality in fashion. The brand exudes a demure aura that mirrors Aina’s poised presence, she is at first conversation demure yet determined in her speech. Be it the modern (and modest!) minimalist, Aina heralds a new femininity of entrepreneurial womanhood. With three dreamy collections of sandal silhouettes in hues so creamy you could melt, StyleTribute gets up close and personal with our Modern Minimalist that hustles with heart, navigating through her start up business with intuition and lessons learnt from past chapters of her career.
The inspiration behind KULET?
To create effortless products which complement and complete one’s outfit instead of overshadowing it. Our primary aesthetics are of sophisticated and timeless design elements with a tad bit of KULET twist.
How is KULET a manifestation of you and your formation of a style identity and entrepreneur?
I’d say that I’m pretty simple when it comes to dressing up due to my unpredictable schedule, I like to wear pieces that I find chic and comfortable, and are sort of transitional, from day to night. So that’s what we want to offer to our #KULETgirl & #KULETguy when wearing KULET. Not only that we want them to feel comfortable when wearing our shoes, but at the same time, are confident that yup, they be lookin’ and feelin’ good all day!
The biggest challenge you have faced since entering the fashion & lifestyle industry as a PR practitioner to now a business owner of your own brand?
I’m gonna be brutally honest here, being in PR has taught me to be truly patient with others. I don’t regret one bit of my experience in PR albeit the many challenges, because all-in-all, I’ve learnt a great deal of important principles which are imperative to my practice as an entrepreneur at present day. Being your own boss, on the other hand, is a completely different ball game. I learn so much everyday. You have to know what you want, and be brave to getting them.
As we are a startup fashion company, our team is fairly small. And when I say small, I mean just me and my business partner Julie small. We do everything from fulfillments, customer service, admin, designing, whatever it takes to run a fashion company, we’ve done or will do it. It gives us an incredible satisfaction to be very hands-on with KULET. Every decision successful or not has been absolutely worth it. I believe that if it wasn’t for my past experiences, I wouldn’t have been able to get where I am today.
AINA’s words to live by…
“It takes the same amount of effort to hold a negative belief as it does to hold a positive one. Make sure you choose beliefs that empower you rather than limit you”
Your fashion philosophy?
For most people, fashion is an art and a form of experiment. For others, it’s a way of displaying their personality. Mine is the latter.
What is PERSONAL STYLE?
The products from KULET, are a reflection of my personal style. Sophisticated and subtle yet elegant styling, emphasizing on fine detailing.
Cant-live-without key pieces?
Oversized shirts, Skinny jeans, Culottes, rose gold studs and KULET shoes (no favs!)
The Row – for their understated silhouettes and design elements, and their brand direction. INSPIRING!, Raf SImons – anything he touches, turn to gold. Especially for Dior and the brainchild behind COS.
Most loved accessories?
I don’t know if it’s unique, but KULET, always, always, Rose gold accents/jewels, my Lunor glasses
Who is your style icon?
Olivia Palermo and Victoria Beckham (present day, not 2007!)
Worst fashion faux-pas?
Brandsnobs! There’s a subtle elegance in not plastering the brand logo on every single piece of clothing you wear as a complete outfit. Less is more, my friend!