Conversations: Director Aaron Christian
20 August 2018
Much like his menswear platform, INDIVIDUALISM, Aaron Christian is passionate about finding the unique in every project he undertakes. For Aaron, fashion and film have always been a natural intersection, and with gigs at MR PORTER and insightful satirical films like “The Life of Pitti Peacocks", Aaron has undeniably carved out a special place for himself as both a filmmaker and a creative in London and beyond.
In conversation with Aaron, we talk about connecting with people, being authentic, and having the guts to follow your own intuition. We chat about his love affair with East London, and how he's followed its ups and downs throughout the years. For better or for worse in Aaron’s words. Whether it’s the home comforts of Mae + Harvey’s all day and evening cafe on Roman Road, or his friend’s cafe Clued Up Coffee on Clements Road; we explore London through the eyes of one of its most exciting born-and-bred creatives. 
Please give a short introduction on yourself and what it is you and your idea or business does?
My name is Aaron Christian and I’m a director/filmmaker. My commercial work mainly floats around the fashion, lifestyle, and luxury industries while my narrative work usually has a comedic spin to it.
Was there a certain spark or “Eureka” moment when the idea for your first project was born?
Not really, as I was always interested in both film and fashion from an early age. I studied film and then fell into fashion while working part time. I managed to combine both of these things when I got the job running the film department at MR PORTER after they first launched. That was due to having created and run my own menswear website, INDIVIDUALISM, in my earlier blogging days.
I think I’ve always tried to follow my intuition. I try to combine things that I’m passionate about and I’m constantly trying to grow and develop myself as a filmmaker. So if something becomes a little too easy or commutable, it’s a red flag for me to look at redirecting my career a little – I just like to make sure I’m constantly learning and growing.

"I know it’s an overused word but I'm really trying to be as authentic as possible, I think if we all did that a lot more in whatever industries we work in, we’d all benefit from the output."

Have your surroundings, the places or spaces you’ve worked and socialised in, played a part in influencing your ideas?
I’m a born-and-bred East Londoner so that has definitely played a huge role in what I do and how I see the world. Newham is one of the most diverse places in the whole of the UK, so it really has allowed me to see the world from a very unique perspective. 

Check out our other Conversations here

How do you try to be Less Ordinary and push boundaries with what you do?
I think this is a constant journey and it’s something I’m always trying to ask myself. What I’ve found to work recently, as I’ve developed as a filmmaker, is to constantly go deep within myself. Really ask myself what makes me me, and try and put that into my work. I know it’s now an overused word but really trying to be as authentic as possible, I think if we all did that a lot more in whatever industries we work in, we’d all benefit from the output.
Is there a certain part of London that you feel a connection to, and if so, where and why?
Definitely East London. I was born in Poplar, lived 28+ plus years in Stratford, and now I’m based in Bow. I’ve see it change so much, for better and worse, and it really has shaped who I am. My friends and family are all here, my schools had such a rich mix of cultures and my school friends were from all over the globe. I was also partly raised by an elderly British Cockney couple during my younger years, so I feel I’ve been privileged to have experienced so many different cultures first-hand. To be able to float between them all has been amazing.
Where do you always find yourself going back to in London?
Currently Mae & Harvey on Roman Road.

When travelling to other cities, is there a particular space, B&B, hotel or apartment you’ve stayed that jumps out as being ‘less ordinary’ in any way?
Nothing that has been super crazy to be honest. I just like things to be situated in places that are easily accessible. During my last trip to Malaysia, (which is where my family are from) we had an amazing rooftop apartment which had a stunning view — it was a great AirBnb and super cheap too! 
As far as where you go or where you like to socialise in London, do you have any hidden gems you’d like to let us in on?
My best friend has just opened up a cafe in Bermondsey, it’s called CluedUp Coffee at the Biscuit Factory on 100 Clements Rd – go check it out. He started off last year in Victoria park in a little van (it’s actually what gave them the inspiration to set up the Victoria park market) but he’s now moved to a bigger space, and it really is a true hidden gem. You need to follow a red line to find it in the factory.
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Interview by Hannah Tan-Gillies

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