Fashion

Mercedes-Benz committed to fashion partnerships and events around Australia.

A Mercedes-Benz is like the perfect dress, like a great car, doesn’t just look good, it makes you feel good.

The creative forces that make fashion so immersive – design, innovation, technology – also drive Mercedes-Benz to be one of the world’s most desired automotive brands.


For decades, Mercedes-Benz has been a key supporter of fashion all over the world. That includes more than 60 events in 30 countries spanning several decades, an outstanding commitment to nurture and support the global fashion industry.


Yet, more than a sponsor, Mercedes-Benz is a partner to the fashion industry. In this way, the worlds of cars and fashion intertwine, each drawing inspiration and innovation from the other in a process that makes each even more beautiful and desirable. The continuous support of Mercedes-Benz ensures tomorrow’s stars of fashion have a stage to be seen today.

Stories


Aje co-founders sparkle with new jewellery line and artistic links

November 2019

Stories


Aje co-founders sparkle with new jewellery line and artistic links

November 2019

Aje co-founders Edwina Forest and Adrian Norris

Aje co-founders Edwina Forest and Adrian Norris.

Co-founders of fashion label Aje Edwina Forest and Adrian Norris continue to break new ground and innovate, recently revealing their first jewellery collection, Aje Adorn, at an exclusive Mercedes me Store Melbourne event.

Surrounded by loyal Aje fans, Forest said the line allows the design duo to express their vision in a new way.

“When we travel, we always go into vintage stores looking for art deco jewellery, and it felt unnatural to us not to have that as part of our collection,” Forest explained. “Our pieces are designed to work with our clothing, rather than overwhelm it. The idea is that they look like they were created by an artisan, that they almost look imperfect.”

She added that the new line allows Aje’s loyal following of fans to interact with the brand in a different way. “We wanted to create something our customers would want to buy for themselves, not jewellery that is sentimental or that someone would buy you as a gift.”

This shift to jewellery design is a natural extension of the duo’s journey so far – which has taken them from Noosa in Queensland to the worldwide stage, before culminating with Aje being named the Mercedes-Benz Presents recipient for 2019.  

Forest and Norris (off frame)

The Aje Adorn collection features artisanal-style earrings, neckless and bracelets in gold and silver.

The co-founders describe their introduction in 2005 as a chance meeting of minds.

“At first I thought he was a Norwegian tourist,” Forest joked. “He came into the boutique I was working in asking for directions, wearing skinny jeans and cowboy boots. He didn’t dress like he was from Queensland!”

After finding themselves at the same party later that evening, Norris revealed he had recently opened his own clothing store in Noosa and needed someone with retail experience to whip things into shape. Forest agreed to help. Fourteen years later, the pair are at the helm of one of Australia’s most celebrated fashion labels.

It was clear Forest and Norris have shared this origin story many times before when they appeared in-conversation at Mercedes me Store Melbourne. They were perfectly in sync as they spoke about the rise of their fashion house and their relationship with Mercedes-Benz.

It was three years after that initial meeting before the designers started their own fashion line, though the idea had been percolating for a while. They explained they had both recognised a gap in the market in Noosa. “We felt there was something missing between what people were being sold when they were on holiday and what they were wearing back in the city,” Forest said. This led them to develop clothing that adheres to three principles – raw beauty, tough femininity and effortless cool – pillars that still anchor the brand today.

Norris and Forest captivated the audience at Mercedes me Store Melbourne with talk about their premiere jewellery collection

Norris and Forest captivated the audience at Mercedes me Store Melbourne with talk about their premiere jewellery collection.

Though seemingly simple, those concepts have pushed Forest and Norris to pursue inventive projects that often bridge the gap between mediums. They spoke of Aje’s collaborations with two artistic legacies, Utopian artist Minnie Pwerle (who is known as one of Australia’s most beloved Aboriginal artists) and two-time Archibald winner Brett Whiteley.

“Both are still pinch-me moments,” Forest said of the projects. Norris, who attended art school in Italy and hand-paints all of Aje’s prints, added that he was excited to work on these collaborations because of the “beautiful synergy between art and design”.

Aje’s Awelye 2017-2018 resort collection came about after Norris reached out to the Minnie Pwerle gallery on Instagram, which was established by Pwerle’s great-granddaughter Jade Torres. The fashion house printed Pwerle’s bold contemporary paintings onto their garments and was widely praised for its sensitive collaboration with Pwerle’s family.

This opened the door for a collaboration with the Brett Whiteley Studio, which is under the custodianship of his former wife, Wendy Whiteley. She has never previously allowed a fashion house to incorporate the Australian painter’s work, but was swayed by Norris and Forest’s passion for the project, which resulted in their 2018-2019 resort collection, titled Woman.

“Wendy was adamant that none of the artwork would change,” Norris recalled. “She wanted it replicated exactly on the runway, which was a big challenge. But in the end, she really embraced what we did and we’re proud of what we accomplished. It made Edwina and I design differently, while also staying true to what we do.”

It’s this innovative spirit that resulted in Aje being named Mercedes-Benz Presents recipient and opening Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in 2019 with their resort 2020 collection, Bloomscape. This was inspired by the Australian landscape, as well as nostalgia from Norris and Forest’s childhoods, though the designers were clear from the outset that they would approach this traditional theme from a creative angle. “We wanted to celebrate Australia in a really authentic way that resonated with us, and not go the kitsch route, which seems to be common when brands focus on Australia,” Norris said.

“To be associated with a brand like Mercedes, known as the forerunner of luxury, design and innovation, it’s such a huge compliment. We really wanted to do Mercedes-Benz proud,” Edwina added.  

Words Emily Tatti

Stories


Mercedes-Benz Presents Aje

April 2019

Stories


Mercedes-Benz Presents Aje

April 2019

Mercedes-Benz Presents Aje
Mercedes-Benz Presents Aje
Watch again

Every year at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, the 'Mercedes-Benz Presents' program recognises an Australian designer who embodies a sense of sophistication, innovation and quality.

This year, Australian fashion house Aje has been selected as the keynote designer. The label, which is known for its effortless feminine designs, will kick off Fashion Week on Sunday May 12 with a runway show revealing its highly-anticipated resort 2020 collection.

At a recent photo shoot, founders Edwina Forest and Adrian Norris spoke to us about the qualities that make Aje such a perfect partner for Mercedes-Benz. They also opened up about their influences and what this opportunity means to them as designers.

Stories


Fast-paced Ladies Day Luncheon jump-starts the F1®
Australian Grand Prix

March 2019

Stories


Fast-paced Ladies Day Luncheon jump-starts the F1®
Australian Grand Prix

March 2019

Adrian Norris and Edwina Forest of Aje

Adrian Norris and Edwina Forest of Aje (right) were a highlight at this year's luncheon. They appeared as the 2019 'Mercedes-Benz Presents' designer.

The Mercedes-Benz Ladies Day Luncheon kicked off the Formula 1® Rolex Australian Grand Prix 2019 with an event every bit as fast-paced and glamorous as the on-track action to follow across the weekend.

 

Beneath stunning blue skies, about 300 invited guests enjoyed Middle Eastern-themed canapes prepared by Shane Delia, the owner of Melbourne dining institution Maha, and a long-time Mercedes-Benz Friend of the Brand.

 

The undoubted hit of the luncheon was the chance to hear from Edwina Forest and Adrian Norris, who collectively make up the uber-fashionable Aje brand and are the coveted ‘Mercedes-Benz Presents’ designer who will lead off Australia’s most prestigious fashion festival, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, in May. The pair presented a five-piece edit exploring their Noosa-based brand’s much-loved values of ‘tough femininity’, ‘raw beauty’ and ‘effortless cool’.

Forest and Norris (off frame)

Forest and Norris (off frame) explained Aje's pieces before they were modelled to the crowd.

The guests were also among the first in Australia to see and touch the Mercedes-Benz EQC, the company’s first-ever fully-electric production vehicle. The history-making family-sized SUV with an all-electric range of up to 450 kilometres drew many admiring glances in its first public outing in Australia, well ahead of the expected arrival of customer cars later in 2019.

Other stunning vehicles to be displayed included the new Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door Coupe, which is the company’s fastest four-door production vehicle, and the tough Mercedes-AMG G 63, the latest iteration of the famous off-roader that turns 40 years old in 2019.


“Being here today amongst the fast cars, the food and fashion, I think this is the ultimate experience on what happens to be the 11th Mercedes-Benz Ladies’ Day,” event MC Magdalena Roze told the glamorous audience, which included celebrities such as model Jessica Hart, TV presenters Laura Dundovic and Kate Peck, fashion designers Helen O’Connor, Yeojin Bae and PE Nation founders Pip Edwards and Claire Tregoning, and the Face of the Formula 1® Australia Grand Prix 2019, Kirsten Clemens.

Words Steve Colquhoun