Shop Talk: Kuwaii

Shining some well-deserved light on Melbourne’s best retailers.

A good shop assistant is both a) extremely hard to find, and b) severely underrated. 

Think about it. For half an hour they’ll be better than your best friend. They’ll run around the store grabbing anywhere from a size 8-14 while you decide just how oversized you want that shirt to be. They’ll compliment your manicure so sincerely that you’ll want to wear OPI Malaga Wine for the rest of your life. They’ll listen to you toss up between the pale blue or black for 45 minutes while you complain that all your wardrobe is black and you really need to branch out. Then they’ll totally not judge as you transfer money, pull out two cards and hand over some cash to buy that top you can’t afford. In black. 

Yep, they’re pretty much angels on earth. So we wanted to introduce you to a few. Meet Edith Kenny-Smith, sales assistant at Kuwaii.

FJ: What made you decide to pursue a career in fashion? 

Edith: When I was in high school I was quite creative and I was also surprisingly really into science as well, so I was quite divided. I knew I was definitely, really into the Australian fashion industry and so I ended up studying Fashion Design and Technology at RMIT and really loving it. 

Why do you like working for Kuwaii? 

Well I guess I have worked at bigger fashion corporations before working here, and when comparing Kuwaii to them, Kuwaii is very down to earth. Just the whole aspect of the ethical and sustainable practices that we use, and having everything, including our footwear, made here in Melbourne is a really great thing. Oh, and also everyone here at Kuwaii is so lovely to work with!

How would you describe your personal style? 

I think I have a mixed style. I have a different style on different days. I really love vintage, colourful, patterned pieces and layering in winter, and more basic pieces such as camisole slip dresses in summer. 

What is your favourite item in the new collection? 

From the new summer collection that has just come out, it would have to be the Filament wrap dress. The fabric is a beautiful crepe and it can be worn in so many different ways. And I love that creation in a dress because you can style it in various ways. 

Who or what is the source of your style inspiration? 

It changes. I really love the style of french women. A muse of mine would be Anna Karenina. 

Would you say you like to set trends or adopt trends? 

I don’t really follow trends so much with my style. But I guess if I was to look deeper, it would be taking inspiration from different eras of time. 

What do you think are the most popular trends in the new collection? 

At Kuwaii in general, we don’t really follow international trends as such. I would say with our new collection, it’s about plant cells under the microscope, and our previous collection had a natural feel to it as well. The trend is moreso the theme and usually the collection feel. 

Where would you like your career in fashion to lead you? 

Well at the moment I have an all-rounder role. I work in the retail sector and also work with website and wholesale. I am just coming up to a year within the company and I am quite happy where I am and want to grow within the company. 

Can you predict any upcoming future trends for Kuwaii? 

Our next collection we are working on at the moment for Winter 2016 has a very earthy, natural feel. We are getting inspiration from glaciers and mountain ranges. 

Is there any advice you would give other girls wanting to be a part of the fashion industry? 

The main thing is to get out there and know what’s in your area. Know what kind of brands and boutiques you want to work for. Be personable and try to get as many internships as you can and show your face! 

37-39 Glenlyon Road Brunswick VIC 3056 


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