Soot

Forever Young

“When I say youthful, people think I’m targeting a younger crowd, but that isn’t necessarily true. It’s about making people feel fresh,” says SOOT founder, and fashion designer, Edwina Sinclair.

“No matter their age, when people wear my garments, I want them to feel playful, comfortable and happy. It’s important to me that they have a smile on their face.”

Edwina established SOOT in 2011, while still at university, with the aim to produce garments that were fresh and inspired by the world around her.

“My design aesthetic has three core principles – humour, texture and luxury,” says Edwina.

Brisbane based, Edwina strives for comfort by designing apparel that breathes well in the subtropical climate of her home city.

Her defining moment as a designer came during the photo shoot for her graduate collection.

“It was a turning point for me. At that moment I knew that I had worked out my aesthetic and understood the process.”

Edwina always knew that she wanted to do something with fashion. Her auntie and mother ran a ballet store, before they moved into designing costumes.

“Making a collection is an exciting and rewarding journey. Like everything, it has its ups and downs, but I love how it is constantly creative and organic. To me, there is nothing like it.”

CEA’s Fashion Accelerator has helped Edwina fine-tune this process.

“They have helped me make the process more efficient. Thuy and the rest of the team are great. Their knowledge and skills have been so helpful.”

“It’s also good to be surrounded by other creatives and feed off their energy,” says Edwina.

Edwina has signed on to be a full part of the program in 2016.

“The stitch lab itself is so useful and they have the best mentors.”

Edwina understands the importance of CEA and the role it helps in shaping fashion companies.

“It’s really difficult out there in the industry. I’m not going to lie, it’s tricky. It’s also a tough time for retailers, so many aren’t taking the risks with a new brand.”

SOOT is doing well though, and is stocked in a few different stores, including three in Melbourne, and one in Portugal.

“Most of SOOT’s trade is done through wholesaling. It’s tricky, but I believe that it’s a great way to get your brand across to customers,” says Edwina.

“They can see it against other international brands, and I trust that stores won’t take my brand unless they believe in it.”

While SOOT has an online store, Edwina plans to continue pursuing wholesale accounts.

Edwina understands the importance of forming a good relationship with her customers, fostering brand loyalty, and getting them excited by the next season.

“You want to be relevant and speak to your customer, but personally I also want to ensure longevity in the garments. I want people to buy a SOOT garment and have them for a very long time.