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Fresh as a Daisy: catching up with Alice Isles of hej-hej

31 August 2021

This week, Fashion Quarterly is checking in with a few of our favourite local fashion designers to see how they're spending their time in lockdown.

WORDS BY Hemma Vara

hej-hej 'She's Wrapped' dress and 'Shade Parade' bucket hat in pink daisy

Alice Isles is the co-founder of loved New Zealand label hej-hej, designed for individuals who take a playful approach to luxury clothing.

In Alice’s bubble are her husband, 5-year-old twin daughters, and Chewy the cat. Alice is also spending time, albeit virtually, with hej-hej co-founder Kiki who is based in Shanghai, as the duo launch their new collection’ Fresh as a Daisy’ on Wednesday, 1 September. 

Running a clothing label across two countries and launching a new collection in lockdown is both challenging and inspiring. We checked in with Alice to see how she’s finding lockdown and learn more about the new collection. 

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How are you feeling about lockdown?

As a small business owner I have mixed emotions. On the one hand, I am happy we are all locking down keeping safe. But on the other, there are fears and worries that come for businesses, and these feelings are hard to put into words! Personally, I feel less stressed than last year, and I’m just trying to take each day as it comes and enjoy the time with my family.

What are you doing to stay well in lockdown?

Getting out and taking a daily walk with my family always clears my head. Otherwise, keeping in touch with my BFF & business partner, Kiki, always cheers me up and gives me a lol.

Alice & Chewy
Out on a lockdown stroll

What are you working on in lockdown?

I have two young kids, so work has taken a bit of a back seat these first few days, but when I get the chance I have been working on our Summer launch ‘Fresh as a Daisy’. We were super lucky that we did our Summer photoshoot on Tuesday (the day before lockdown). 

‘Fresh as a Daisy’ is an upcoming 25-piece collection that embodies the Scandi philosophy ‘anything goes’. Welcoming back signature styles and new silhouettes, the collection signifies a shift to a brighter mood in the form of easy-to-wear separates and throw-on dresses attuned for whimsical summer days. 

'Eat Your Heart Out' dress in seafoam
'All Puffed Up' top and 'Ladykiller' skirt in blue daisy

The hero print of the collection, a custom embroidered daisy linen, comes in bold pink or ‘looks good on everyone’ blue—and is intended to be mixed with other collection pieces or matched for ultimate summer uniformity.

Shop the ‘Fresh as a Daisy collection from Wednesday, 1 September at hej-hej.co

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