This week for our 2021 series, we are over the moon to introduce Edwina Forest. One of our absolute style icons & the Co-Founder + Creative Director of cult Australian design house, Aje. We sat down with Edwina & spoke to her about how she stays organised, her rediscovered love of note taking, the learnings she is taking away from 2020 & what she is most looking forward to in 2021.
Occupation: Creative director and co-founder of Aje.
What learnings will you be taking away from (the crazy year that was) 2020 & into 2021? Have your experiences in 2020 changed your mindset & priorities in any way?
I think 2020 has given us the unexpected realisation of appreciating time. The year has given time for people to rest and reflect, which as a world and humanity we really needed. The pace of the fashion industry and the greater environment around us has been unsustainable for some time. While this period has had many adverse effects, there have also been some silver linings. Ultimately, it has allowed for reflection, recalibration in mindset, and a focus on moving forward as individuals, and as a global community.
What is one personal, professional or financial goal you will be tracking in your 2021 diary?
It’s become more apparent to me that mine and Adrian’s role at Aje as a fashion brand or as designers of a fashion brand, is to be storytellers of the time.
Now more than ever I feel it more necessary to become even more ingrained in research, more in tune with the global psyche and to maintain our uniqueness as a brand.
Using my own diary allows me to set aside personal time to remain grounded, and to feel my way through creative decisions, with consideration and intuition.
How many years have you been using an An Organised Life Diary?
I’ve always loved the concept of a bespoke, hand-written note or entry. We like to do that at Aje.
It’s only recently in working with Beck, and now using her beautiful products I’ve returned to the process of note-taking.
Talk us through that feeling when you first unboxed your new AOL 2021 Daily Planner? What did you notice?
The tactile element of the diary and its quality of design really standout to me.
What is your favourite feature in your 2021 diary & how will it help you stay organised?
My organisational style lends itself to being extremely detailed, so my new 2021 Daily Planner provides the space and clarity to curate dates, concepts and thoughts, as well as my love of design, architecture and artists that I discover or am inspired by.
What's one personal or professional project you have been working on or have upcoming that requires you to be organised?
Constantly developing the creative and visual elements of the brand architecture, I am often working through multiple collections or concepts at the same time. Working so far into the future, designing collections months and months ahead, but still needing to be present with the current collection and launches – requires a lot of bandwidth.
Structure, and keeping on a critical path to meet all the various moving parts of the business, is essential.
What are the top ways you organise your life?
The process of uncovering a narrative for the season is what I am personally drawn to most. In my role as Creative Director, it is important to be led by an idea and a concept rather than to be led by visual alone.
I would say every element in my personal creative process needs to contribute to a purpose. If there is a billowing proportion on a particular piece, I like to explore the rationale behind it. When we consider where to apply a hand-made artisanal detail – this should be designed with purpose. Every seam, every stitch and detail is very purposefully considered, designed and made.
In the design and range planning process especially, digital and pen to paper organisation together work hand in hand to provide much needed clarity.
What are your current desk essentials?
As I am often moving across the three terrace spaces that the company occupies in Paddington – simplicity is key. I would say an Aje [hand] bag hosts the content of my working life which then makes it way on to my desk! Depending on where I am seated, at my local favourite café (Jackies) or in our white-filled offices, my essentials comprise of my laptop, phone and keys, my new An Organised Life Daily Planner, and a juice refreshment from Orchard Street.
Top organisation hack?
Colour coding is on the top of my list.
And finally, what are you looking forward to & going to be focusing on in 2021?
For 2021, we are committed, conscious and continue take step towards driving sustainability as we focus on initiating a number of conscious product initiatives.
We are also looking to continue building the Aje presence in the international market, as there seems to be a demand not only in New Zealand, but in other parts of the world too.
Get organised for 2021. Start HERE by exploring our 2021 Collection & shop Edwina's favourite diary HERE.
Photography by Ana Suntay-Tañedo
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