Aje Athletica transformed Bennelong into a runway on a sunny morning last week. As the Sydney brand hosted its first show under the sails of the Opera House, the atmosphere was more relaxed than usual.

The sporty sister brand to Aje is two years old. And, while it came to life in the middle of our pandemic-induced obsession with activewear, its purpose was always to fill the gaps in “off-duty” wardrobes. “We’re inspired by those moments in our customers’ lives when they’re not wanting to wear Aje … like dropping the kids to school or grabbing a coffee. It’s all about easy pieces to layer, whether you’re working out or not,” co-founder and creative director Edwina Forest told Broadsheet after the show.

Yes, there was plenty of branded sportswear; leggings, crop tops and bike shorts with logo detailing sauntered down the runway alongside sneakers and chunky sandals. But these core styles acted as the complement to more fashion-forward pieces. Shirting appeared in bold primary colours, and a utility-chic vibe characterised outerwear and skirts alike.

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The message was: invest in pieces that do the hard work for you. Take the convertible belted trench. It’s cut from a lightweight technical fabric and can be worn at least four ways, including as a cropped vest, longline vest, cropped long-sleeve jacket and longline trench.

One of the benefits of hosting a show off-schedule – during Australian Fashion Week in May, Aje celebrated 15 years of business at Sydney Modern Project – and in line with product delivery is that some runway pieces are available to shop now, with the rest to follow in the coming weeks.

Beauty on the day was a collaboration with co-founder and CEO Adrian Norris’s recent solo venture, “modern-day apothecary” Ikkari. Make-up artist and skin therapist Isabella Schimid used the brand’s cream cleanser, skin-refining enzyme mask and solution serum to prep models’ skin. Hair and make-up were left undone to echo the clothes’ easy attitude.
Ikkari’s range of inner, outer and aura products is available at Aje Athletica stores.


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