Meet Aje Creative Director Edwina Forest
Meet Aje Creative Director Edwina Forest

Meet Aje Creative Director Edwina Forest

Few brands have achieved cult status in quite the same timeframe as Aje. Here, we sat down with its creative director Edwina Forest to discuss the rise of the iconic Aussie label, her creative inspiration and the lessons she’s learnt along the way.
By Emma Bigger

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My first fashion memory is my impeccably dressed grandmothers. They were both incredibly stylish, so my most formative fashion memories and experiences stem from being in their fabulous wardrobes. They helped me realise early on how important it was to develop my own sense of style.

My mother also had a big influence on my style. She taught me the value of using clothes to represent yourself in the world. My style is a cacophony of contradictions: feminine with a masculine edge, classic with a unique twist, considered with an air of nonchalance.

My role is to set the creative vision and be a driving force for the brand alongside my co-founder and business partner, CEO Adrian Norris. It’s all about aesthetically pushing and evolving our collections season after season. I focus on the design and visual elements of the brand to lead the creative development.

If I could TELL MY YOUNGER SELF anything, it would be to TRUST MY INTUITION.

I am fascinated by the intersections of art, fashion and the natural world. I had studied journalism at university before working as a stylist for magazines, and Adrian owned a small fashion boutique. We wanted to create a brand that understood the duality of coastal and urban style – a reflection of my upbringing in Queensland, Australia. Aje is known for its attention to quality and detail, luxurious fabrications and silhouettes inspired by our continued fascination with Australia’s landscapes, the art world, and culture at large.

Having my own brand has taught me to trust my creative intuition. Aje hasn’t followed a linear path to success and the insights I’ve gained along the way have helped us to grow the business to where it is today. If I could tell my younger self anything, it would be to trust my intuition and commit to Aje’s brand values and distinct style of storytelling.

My most memorable career moment was showcasing Aje’s Resort 22 show at the Calyx in Sydney’s Royal Botanic Gardens in 2021. It was one of the first in-person shows post-pandemic. More recently, we hosted our first global New York Fashion Week presentation. It was great to let people see Aje’s Australian design codes through a more international lens.

The Aje woman is curious and discerning. She also has an appreciation for carefully crafted pieces that will set her apart. She’s fascinated by culture, the arts and the natural world – and sees her wardrobe as an extension of her creativity. Celebrating our customers is at the heart of what we do. We always start with the Aje woman and consider what will best serve her best throughout every step of the design process.

Having a distinct point of view has been key to our success. We’ve avoided being swayed by passing trends or being tempted to jump on certain bandwagons. By taking the time to establish our own visual codes, we’ve been able to attract a loyal and growing customer base in Australia and around the world.

CELEBRATING OUR CUSTOMERS is at the heart of what we do.

The hero piece in my own wardrobe is a vintage YSL leather jacket I bought in Paris. I always consider longevity and how a piece makes me feel when I wear it. I also gravitate towards pieces that have a duality – feminine and masculine, tailored and effortless. By ensuring every piece you purchase feels unique to you, your wardrobe is guaranteed to stand the test of time.

A well-tailored black suit is a staple in my wardrobe. Styles with tough but still feminine details such as raw edges, strong shoulders and interesting back details are all signatures for me and I’ll often pair tailoring with black strappy heels, gold jewellery and a bold lip if I need a bit of a boost. I also love a leather miniskirt with a masculine shirt worn half in, half out.

Becoming a sustainable brand requires commitment. Our team is focused on driving positive social and environmental change through our supply chain. Right now, we’re working on becoming certified as a B-Corp within the next three to five years. We’re also proud members of the United Nations Global Compact, a strategic policy initiative that aligns our operations and strategies with ten universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption.

For 2023, our sights are set on international expansion. We will also be celebrating Aje’s 15-year anniversary during Australian Fashion Week in May. From pop-up boutiques to international events, there’s still so much to do and plenty of room for the brand to grow.



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