After graduating from Yale with a degree in fine arts, Orange County-raised Eunice Cho (FEMBA ’14) headed for New York City and wound up working for a high-end lingerie company. There she took on a number of creative roles while whetting her appetite for the business side of the fashion industry. She decided to go to b-school.
That epiphany led to a realization: She had nothing to wear.
While interviewing for schools, Cho says it became apparent that the casual and comfortable clothes she wore to work in the anything-goes environment of fashion didn’t meet the expectations of the buttoned-up business world. In classic entrepreneur fashion, when faced with a problem, Cho decided to find a solution.
That solution is AELLA.
AELLA is an online retailer offering women a full line of pants, blazers, and t-shirts. Launched in the fall of 2014, AELLA is an L.A.-based company with an office in downtown’s fashion district and a warehouse in South Gate. The company has now made its foray into brick-and-mortar sales with a pop-up at Bloomingdale’s flagship store in New York City. We’d tell you more, but it’s probably better if Eunice, whose titles include “founder and creative director,” fills us in on the details.
Eunice Cho: I studied fine arts as an undergrad and worked in fashion in New York afterward, and I never had to dress up for work; I was always in jeans and leggings, just whatever I wanted to wear. Once I started interviewing for business school, I had to start looking for suits.
And that’s when I realized that suits were so expensive and they were very conservative and sort of devoid of personality. Wherever you go, it’s sort of a cookie-cutter, wool-suit look, and for me that was really frustrating because I do believe that clothing has a huge impact on your confidence and how you present yourself — and showing up for an interview in a wool suit is not necessarily confidence inspiring.