As a designer, Aidan Euan can’t help but be drawn to the glamorous aesthetic that comes with the help of some well-placed Swarovski crystals. He’s been fascinated by them ever since he was a child in Yucatán, Mexico. It was there, after all, that inside his family’s living room, housed next to the fine china, and deserving of its own display case, rested a tall, bedazzled, crown with hundreds of tiny crystals.
The heavy ornamental piece belonged to his mother, who once was crowned queen in the local town festival. “I remember thinking that crown was everything,” Euan, 25, said. “I thought it was worth like a million dollars.” Though he now knows how to source Swarovski crystals wholesale for much less, Euan continues designing clothing and accessories with the glittering pieces. His hand-made creations, which range from slip dresses to embellished tights and chokers, have caught the attention of a growing audience on social media, including performers like the Colombian R&B singer Kali Uchis.
Perhaps most notably, though, Euan recently received the seal of approval from one of the titans of social media: Kim Kardashian. After being contacted by her team, Euan pooled some of his icy creations for the reality TV star, who eventually fell in love with a simple-but-sexy bikini adorned with more than 6,000 tiny, silver-colored, Swarovski crystals. Photos of Kim vacationing in Mexico with her sister Kourtney Kardashian, who also wore one of Euan’s creations, soon made their way around the tabloids. Kim, particularly, seemed to take delight in her new bikini as she showed it off on Snapchat. “It was so simple [a design],” he said. “But it’s so much work and detail that I like to put into it and I take pride in doing.” Kim’s bikini, for instance, took 16 hours to complete.
Still, the fact that celebrities have taken note of his work remains a shock to Euan, who said he’s grateful for the exposure since he’s in the early stages of his career. When Kim Kardashian’s team reached out, for instance, he only had a handful of his creations on Instagram and up for sale on his store Akna. “I mean those five, six things took so long to make and so long to shoot,” he said. “It’s such a huge process behind those little pictures and for someone that’s established like [Kim Kardashian] and her team to take notice, it’s crazy.” Indeed, Euan says he’s currently a one-man shop responsible for budgeting, sourcing and marketing (though his girlfriend sometimes models his designs).
While the celebrity attention is welcome, Euan said, he ultimately envisions “strong and fearless” women everywhere wearing his designs. Latinas, however, seem to particularly embody these characteristics, he added. “I wouldn’t say [my designs are] just for a Latina because it’s for everybody,” he said. “But I feel through what I do, there’s that spirit of a Latina that’s in every single piece that I make.”
That Euan is proud of his Mexican heritage and culture is an understatement. “I love Mexico, period,” he said. Though he doesn’t consider himself “extremely political,” he said he recognizes that the current political climate in the United States requires more from Latinos, especially creatives. “It’s times like these where we all need be louder and better and do everything that we do unapologetically,” he said.
You can shop Aidan Euan’s designs on his store, Akna.