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Founding Story

AERA's founding began with three friends, each with a deep expertise in their respective fields, who share a common passion: sustainable manufacturing and the well-being of people and our planet.


Tina Bhojwani and Alvertos Revach met as students at Georgetown University and remained in touch, meeting over the years in either Athens or New York City. Over dinner one night in 2017, Tina described how, after 20 years of working for large corporations, including Donna Karan, Theory and Dolce & Gabbana, she was ready to do something different that contributed to the greater good. Alvertos had recently left his family business to set up Humble Holdings, an investment fund focused on sustainable businesses. They discussed the urgent need for sustainable practices in the fashion industry — a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions and freshwater pollution, among other impacts, globally — and how they could work together in this pursuit.


Soon after, as Tina was in the process of researching a platform to create luxurious yet sustainable products within the fashion industry, she bumped into shoe designer Jean-Michel Cazabat at Bergdorf Goodman. Having worked together in the past, they easily fell into conversation. Jean-Michel described his own career turning point as he had just sold his shoe company and was looking to the future — and a way to make a difference.


Tina and Jean-Michel met days later and started discussing the possibility of making vegan shoes that, Tina insisted, “cannot look like they are vegan.” Jean-Michel was up for the challenge and already had some ideas regarding materials along with strong relationships with factories in Italy’s Veneto. Once the business model was solidified, they shared it with Alvertos, who was immediately intrigued. He was convinced after he tried a pair of vegan shoes that Jean Michel had made for him in the summer of 2018 - and so AERA was born.


Founders

Tina Bhojwani

Tina Bhojwani

Co-Founder & CEO

"We are proving that luxury design and quality do not have to be compromised in the name of sustainability."

Fashion executive Tina Bhojwani has held key leadership roles at global brands including Donna Karan, Theory and Dolce & Gabbana. Throughout her 20-year career, she has seen the impact of fashion on people and the planet and recognizes the need for change not only as a business imperative but more importantly a deeply human one. She built AERA as a platform to address these environmental and social challenges, with the hope of making its practices the new normal in fashion. With AERA, she aspires to show consumers that style, design, and quality can be analogous with sustainability.

"We are proving that luxury design and quality do not have to be compromised in the name of sustainability."

Jean-Michel Cazabat

Jean-Michel Cazabat

Co-Founder & Creative Director

"The birth of my daughter Aria four years ago made me aware of the condition we are leaving the world to our children. It was time to really wake up and to do something about it."

Designer Jean-Michel Cazabat has spent his career immersed in luxury footwear. He was the president of Stephane Kélian and the creative director of Charles Jourdan prior launching his eponymous brand in 2000. The birth of his daughter Aria four years ago brought about a greater consciousness of the world and her future, and he began to think about a new project centered around sustainability. Jean-Michel’s tremendous experience as well as relationships with suppliers and factories allowed us to bring AERA to life.

"The birth of my daughter Aria four years ago made me aware of the condition we are leaving the world to our children. It was time to really wake up and to do something about it."

Alvertos Revach

Alvertos Revach

Co-Founder & Investor

"I firmly believe that AERA’s philosophy can be a driving force for making the world a better place for all."

Entrepreneur Alvertos Revach created Humble Holdings in 2016 as an investment vehicle for sustainable businesses. He envisions capitalism as a vehicle of positive change for all people and the planet and hopes that businesses will recognize environmental and social performance as a positive business case inherent in profit. He believes that businesses should take the lead in undoing harm caused to the planet and its people by making sustainability the right and easy thing to do. Through AERA, Humble’s 
three principles, ‘Good for You, Good for People, Good for the Planet,’ are 
put into practice.

"I firmly believe that AERA’s philosophy can be a driving force for making the world a better place for all."