In the 11 years since friends Edwina Forest and Adrian Norris joined forces to form AJE, theirs has become one of Australia’s most sought-after fashion brands. Their ascendancy hits a new peak in 2019 with the announcement that AJE will be the coveted Mercedes-Benz Presents designer at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia (MBFWA).
The label will kick off Australia’s largest industry-based fashion event on Sunday 12 May by revealing its resort collection in one of the fashion calendar’s most talked-about events of 2019. The opening Mercedes-Benz Presents show at MBFWA has become one of Australian fashion’s marquee occasions, kicking off a week-long schedule packed with Australia’s most notable and rising fashion talents.
In being named the keynote designer, AJE joins a roll call to have opened MBFWA that includes distinguished fashion luminaries Camilla & Marc (2018), Dion Lee (2017), Toni Maticevski (2016), Kym Ellery (2015) and Carla Zampatti (2014).
AJE co-founders Edwina and Adrian will embark on a year long partnership with Mercedes-Benz Australia/Pacific as part of being chosen as the Mercedes-Benz Presents designer. “This headlining position gives us the perfect platform to engage and inspire the clients we place at the heart of our brand,” Edwina says. “As designers, our driving force remains the same today as when we started AJE: to offer a platform for women to embrace their duality. At once raw and beautiful, tough and feminine, effortless and cool, our collections echo the co-existing tensions and complexities that unite us all.”
Adrian says the honour of opening MBFWA is a statement of recognition not only for the brand, but for AJE’s loyal clients. “We always seek to offer them something truly unique, and we look forward to making this a milestone moment with them in mind,” he says.
Mercedes-Benz Australia/Pacific CEO and Managing Director Horst von Sanden says fashion remains a key touchstone for the brand, with Mercedes-Benz supporting more than 50 fashion events in 30 countries around the world. “We see the parallels every day between the world of high fashion and the automotive industry, which is on the cusp of re-inventing itself like never before,” he says. “This year we will launch our first mainstream all-electric vehicle, the EQC, in Australia, and we expect it will delight both the hearts and minds of our customers as a very advanced solution to the question of future mobility. We are always thinking many years ahead and it is the same for fashion designers such as AJE, who must tap into the desires of their customer and produce garments that are both beautiful and practical.”
Adrian says he sees strong parallels between the timeless designs devised by AJE and the enduring style of Mercedes-Benz. “AJE and Mercedes-Benz share an inherent sophistication, and a desire to embody perfection in our craft,” he says. “Our eye for design does not look to trends. We set ourselves apart by offering ageless style that sits outside the passing of time.”
Edwina expects 2019 to be a turning point for AJE. “We are born within the raw beauty of these natural landscapes along Australia’s coastline, but our celebration of the complexity of a woman’s human experience is universal,” she says. “With the support from Mercedes–Benz this year we will continue to reach out and touch the hearts of likeminded women, at home and around the world.”
Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia launches on 12 May with the ‘Mercedes-Benz Presents’ runway show at a location to be announced, and then continues at Carriageworks and other special venues until 18 May. MBFWA is owned and operated by IMG, a global leader in fashion events and talent representation.
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