COMPLEX – What is AELIZA?
Jack HarperAELIZA was born from disillusionment and uncertainty. We’re not an eccentric platform that endeavours in statement-heavy pieces—we’re a platform seeking essentialist communication, looking to use fashionAs a space for open discussion and asking questions about humanity. Psychology and philosophy are at the core of our brand, and we don’t look to be the loudest in the room. We don’t look to be right, either. We strive to be concise and effective. We are a mirror. This is why the first lookbook included a mirror.
You’ve presented AELIZA as “a dialogic study of the autonomous individual.”Could you please explain the purpose of this?
This is our subheading to the headline; it’s our mission statement. It can be summarized as follows: “What does it mean to be a free individual?” That’s a really big fucking question! When I asked myself this question, the first thing that came to mind was, “Where on earth do I start?” It was upon realising that instead of dwelling on the question, it was time to start a project that facilitated this question. I’ve wanted to start a project for as long as I can remember, however I really struggle pursuing creativity without reason. If there’s no reason, then I put it aside.
Talk to us about the process behind setting up the imprint—why did you want to it in the first place?
It’s extremely difficult to summarise in short, as there are many reasons. There was certainly a lot of industry frustration that built up into this—AELIZA being the reaction. My frustrations should be taken seriously and not just resigned to it. The idea was mine for approximately four years. The name was inspired by an early computer program. ‘ELIZA’Joseph Weizenbaum, a computer scientist at MIT. AELIZA was part my university dissertation. Without getting too wordy, you’d write into the computer program in the same way as you’d talk to any individual.
The computer would simply reply to your message in the form of a question. From this, you’d get endless dialogue with something that doesn’t actually know what you’re saying. But as you can establish that you’re not talking to another human being but a computer, you somewhat feel secure and safe, free of judgement and scrutiny. I thought that it was fascinating, but also the sad reality of humanity: we only really feel secure with ourselves. That was what I felt. fashion, there needed to be a brand that focuses on one’s mental, one’s self. Not in a way that’s provocative, but in a way that’s peaceful and gentle—it’s borderline therapy, to a degree.
As I grew older, I became more interested in being able to facilitate this. fashion and design format, but instead of a computer program, I tried to translate this vision and feeling into fashionVisual communication, product design and product design. I had to slow down when the pandemic struck. However, it was a good thing that I was able finally to collect all my thoughts throughout the years and make a case study for what I wanted.