A recent coffee date with a friend turned into a delightful and inspiring meet up with Aileen Lee, the talented emerging designer behind her refreshing brand, Vestige.
It is one thing to be extremely creative, but you create a whole other beast when you combine that with intelligence, literature and business skills. Aileen did not come from a design background. In fact, she studied English Literature at UBC, at the request of her parents, and then went on to obtain her master’s degree in fashion management. However, fashion design was something she always loved and upon completing her education, she decided to take a chance and follow her passion.
“My style is simple and neutral. I wear what is comfortable, and that is my first priority when designing products.”
“Our customer is someone who welcomes life in its most natural form.”
What is the story behind your brand?
Vestige is the brainchild of fashion and literature. I have always been fascinated with the interconnections between people, and this is how I link fashion with literature. Both are vessels capable of telling others who we are, creating a bridge between individuals. Clothing is a language of its own.
Each season, Vestige tells a story of two girls, brought together by a message in a bottle. In a day and age where communication is undervalued, we try to promote the importance of connecting with others. In each story, a girl would write a message and send it off in a bottle. The process brings two seemingly different individuals together.
What type of woman are you designing for?
The type of woman who seeks meaning in life, and values her experiences. She is someone who digs deep, someone who appreciates beauty, as well as quality and craftsmanship. Vestige is very organic. We have a small team that does everything ourselves, and we use very little hired help. Our customer is someone who welcomes life in its most natural form.
What has been the most rewarding part of your career in design?
The people who became a part of or supported Vestige. Building up a brand is no easy feat, it is a wholehearted investment with no guarantees at the end of the tunnel. Yet everyone I’ve met along the way has been really supportive, and it made me realise how warm our community is.
What would you consider as the most important trait of being a designer?
Intuition and perception. Know who your audience is, because a strong design does not only cater to yourself. Design is an interactive playing field that shapes and sharpens your work with continual feedback and conversation.
Where can people buy/view your s/s 15 collection?
Our look book is up on our website, where you can read the full collection story. We will be showcasing our Spring/Summer collection at a pop up store in April. More details to come!
“Clothing is a language of its own.”