MEET HUNGARY’S MOST PROMISING BUSINESSWOMAN VIVIEN LASZLOFFY
Amongst the highly recognized list of Forbes’ “30 under 30” you can find Hungarian CEO Vivien Laszloffy. The 26 year old business woman is at the head of one of Hungary’s most interesting and upcoming brands, Aeron. The brand known for its chic and minimalist pieces made out of Italian and Japanese fabrics has a further ace up its sleeve: everything’s sustainably created in Hungary. We asked her about the Hungarian fashion industry, why transparency is relevant today and what it feels like to be such a young successful female CEO in the industry.
Could you describe the brand in 3 words?
Effortless, quality, craftsmanship
Everything is made in Hungary, why is it important to the brand?
One of our proudest accomplishments has been honouring their heritage and origin of producing everything in Hungary. In choosing a production partner, we chose a firm specializing not only in high end production for well-known Western European luxury brands like Stella McCartney and Moncler, but also with a focus on offering job opportunities to disabled workers. We therefore strengthen not only the design brand of Hungary, but emphasize it as a production location for high-end fashion simultaneously with providing work for said impaired workers in the countryside of Hungary.
Why is traceability/transparency so important today?
I believe that especially my generation, the Millennials have so much more access to information today than ever before, that you want to know where that product comes from, or what fabrics are being used. This question comes up over and over again and therefore I believe it is crucial to have a social and transparent aspect for everything you do. And it also sets an example for younger brands.
How can you describe the fashion industry in Hungary?
It is a mix of many different things and it’s constantly evolving. People in Budapest tend to choose more comfortable and easy pieces when it comes to dressing up. But there’s a young growing crowd of people who dare to wear more exciting and unique clothes and are not afraid to express their personal style.
What does it feel like to be such a young business woman today?
I enjoy it a lot since I’m used to this constant high pressure from my past as a former professional tennis player. Since the age of 10 I was travelling the world with a coach, going from tournament to tournament so I had to grow up much quicker than my friends. So taking responsibility, trying to be a leader, and constantly delivering is something tennis taught me. It is very scary at times as well, especially if you feel like sometimes you have no idea what you’re doing, but this young naive approach towards things where you want to figure out everything and give it a try, is really exciting: good things come out of it in the end. And if not, you move to the next thing and learn from your mistakes.
You were on Forbes’ list of the 30 under 30, how did it feel? Did it change something for you?
It is definitely a great honor and my team and I were really excited when we found out. But life doesn’t stop, so after a little celebration everything went back to normal and we had to face the same challenges as before and figure out solutions for them. But it definitely did have an impact on the amount of press activity and interest we received, especially being on national TV several times was a great honor and it was so nice to see that people were interested in the story.
Why are there still so few female CEOs in the fashion industry according to you?
I think this is slowly but surely changing because of a generation switch as well. You can see more and more younger female CEOs which is very exciting so I hope this ‘trend’ will continue but as these positions have been mainly male dominated, it takes time to switch.
Would you have an advice for other women to become successful business women?
Network, to be open-minded, work very hard, and surround yourself with the right people. What I mean is that I have inspiring people around me, who continue to push me and want me to succeed. There is nothing more important than having mentors, interesting conversations with people, where you can learn something. I was recently at the global Forbes 30 under 30 conference and the best take away was the countless conversations you had with likeminded young peers who go through the same struggles and challenges.
What makes you feel strong on a daily basis?
My family and my friends. There is nothing more important than family and I’m very grateful for having the best parents and brother I could imagine, they are my biggest support system. My brother is also my biggest motivation since I was little and we are extremely close. He actually started a Men’s Skincare brand called SA.AL & CO so we have a lot of overlapping and brain storming sessions together which is very exciting.