The founders of Aje talk opening MBFWA, connecting through fashion and the future of their label

Everything you need to know ahead of MBFWA.

Edwina Forest and Adrian Norris, the co-founders of Australian fashion label Aje, have undeniably cemented their brand as one to watch. Worn by the likes of Alessandra Ambrosio, Shay Mitchell and Isabel Lucas, Aje has become a go-to for universally flattering and feminine silhouettes that transcend seasonal fads and fleeting trends.

As such, it comes as no surprise that Aje has been selected to open Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Australia 2019 with the presentation of its resort 2020 collection. Following in the footsteps of fellow ‘Mercedes Benz Presents’ designers Camilla & Marc (2018), Dion Lee (2017) and Toni Maticevski (2016), the label will kick off the week-long festivities on May 12 at a yet-to-be-disclosed location.

Proud to be embarking on the label’s second decade by headlining Australian fashion week, Norris said that the honour is “a statement of recognition for our brand, but also for our loyal clients, many of whom have been with us for 11 years, and who continue to grow along this journey with us.”

“We always seek to offer them something truly unique,” he added. “And we look forward to making this a milestone moment with them in mind.”

Speaking with Vogue, Forest teased the highly-anticipated resort collection, explaining that the label will continue to “further acknowledge and celebrate the duality inside us all and to salute the diversity and contrast within this extraordinary land we call home.”

“With this opportunity we want to really connect with hearts and tell our story in the most powerful way yet,” said Norris, who went on to reveal that the collection was in part inspired by the rawness of the Australian coastline.

When quizzed on where the future of the label lies, the co-founders and creatives shared that they intend for 2019 to be somewhat of a turning point for Aje, with the brand looking to make a concerted effort to “reach out and touch the hearts of like-minded women, at home and around the world.”

Crediting their success to their considered and strategic approach, together with their ability to never look back, it’s easy to see how Aje has managed to reach the milestone that is opening MBFWA in just 11 short years.

 

[“source=vogue”]

 

How This Instagram Influencer Is Building A Lifestyle Brand Through Beauty And Fashion

Shiva Safai, a model, entrepreneur and Instagram influencer, is influencing the way young girls and women view themselves through beauty and fashion. She’s taken her years of operating a criminal-background company and applied it to building her lifestyle brand. With the launch of her new jewelry collection in collaboration with Noush jewelry, Safai is building her empire one business at a time.

Shiva Safai

Shiva Safai, entrepreneur, on a photo shoot in Los Angeles, California.Aleksander Braun and Cameron West

“When thinking of the collection,” Safai stated. “I wanted to create pieces that are meaningful to myself, my culture and my followers in every detail. I want to show kids that anything you dream of you can achieve. You have to work hard and believe in yourself. There’s going to be people who won’t believe in you and who would want to destroy your dreams and your self-confidence. As long as you believe in yourself you can achieve anything you want.”

What started off as just a job, turned into the beginning of Safai’s entrepreneurial journey. Before the term ‘social media influencer’ emerged, she focused on the operation of her own company that conducted criminal-background checks. She quickly picked up on dealing with everything from traffic violations to felony charges and violations. “It never felt like work,” she shares. “I was intrigued by all the court cases and all the information I would get on a daily basis. One year turned into 10-years of running the company.”

She opened her first company with one of her cousins. Unfortunately, there was a falling out between the two of them. Through this experience, Safai strengthened her self-confidence and made a promise to herself to remain steadfast. “I was devastated,” she shares. “I wanted to give up and go back to Norway. I would call my mom every night. She kept saying, ‘you have worked so hard. You’ve done it once before and you can do it again. If you quit now, you’re going to let them win.’ My mom was there to talk me through it and give me the courage to restart the company again and I did. The second time I did it that was the successful one.”

Shiva Safai

Shiva Safai, lifestyle influencer, behind the scenes for her Jewelry Line shoot.Aleksander Braun and Cameron West

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Safai had a commute from Orange County to Los Angeles where her office was located. She would bring her sleeping bag with her and sleep in the office, sometimes two-to-three days a week. With a short staff, Safai had to work longer hours to ensure that her company thrived. “If people said that one day I would get into fashion and beauty,” she states, “I would say ‘there’s no way.’ I never saw myself in that world, although, I always loved fashion. After dissolving the partnership [of the second company], this fell into my lap. It was a completely different world.”

“It taught me,” Safai continues, “that working hard and believing in something will get you to your dream; you just don’t give up. It’s never easy, ever. It always takes hard work. There were days where I wanted to give up, and I thought I was failing but I wasn’t. In actuality, I was growing. There were a lot of errors I made but I learned from it, and I did it bigger and better as the years went by. I’ve learned that sometimes things don’t go the way you want but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Your work ethic is important. That is one thing that has stuck with me since opening up my first company. It disciplined me to put in the hard work. Only you can be responsible for your own success; no one else can do the job for you.”

Gradually, Safai began modeling. It wasn’t until she and her fiancé, real-estate mogul Mohamed Hadid, joined the cast of E! Network’s Second Wives Club that she entertained the idea of starting her own fashion beauty media brand. “This is the next chapter of my life,” Safai smiles. “Being on the show made me realize this was the next career I was going to get into; where I would focus my energy.”

Shiva Safai
[“source=forbes]