Aida Wild is a print artist and clothes retailer who was pivotal in the rise of London’s Brick Lane creative scene from 2008. She even has a cameo part in Banksy’s film ‘Exit Through the Gift Shop’ (2010) documenting the infamous event where street artists Sweet Toof et al. got arrested painting her shop wall.
In a visit to her studio (now in Hackney Wick), on 12 November 2013, Aida inspired London College of Communication BA (Hons) Design Cultures students talking about her work, memories and historical evidence of economic and social realities that have shaped her practice.
We saw the way that Aida’s prints, commissions for clients and her own work, both respond to and influence the times: from her original animal print clothes that now are copied everywhere from Top Shop to Japan, to her iconic ‘East End Sucks’ – a comment on the day-to-day reality of grimy Brick Lane which still resonates today in the reality of gentrification.
Aida plotted her own practice and experience within the entanglements of economics and recent design trends. A good example being gentrification; where the first wave of ‘creatives’ that she was part of were forced out by the rising rents that are an effect of the second ‘creative’ wave – developers, big brands, creative IT industries.
She also spoke about the rise of vintage; including the implications for her own shop when people stopped buying ‘new’ clothes. From her collection, we saw the way that magazines like ‘Super Super’ and the monthly ‘Shoreditch Map’, which provided a snapshot of people, shops and eateries month by month, were important in formalising the ‘scene’ and now become evidence of cultural and historical change.
In 2013 Aida launched a print based community project called Print Is Power which aims to give various members of the community & individuals a voice to communicate and raise issues for debate.
words: Monika Parrinder, Senior Tutor BA (Hons) Design Cultures