28 January 2014

Edwina Sinclair and Soot. the Label, Life After the Kid’s Table

 Words: Saskia Edwards
Images: Jonathan Rae
Video Source: Danny Camara

Founder and designer at Soot Edwina Sinclair has been a long time poster girl for Brisbane’s emerging designers.

But she says it’s time she ditched her up-and-coming reputation for a more established career.

“And so I’m kind of out of that emerging designers stage.

“It’s really hard. People think of it as a new label with an emerging designer, but I’ve been like that for ages and now that I’ve graduated I want to step it up to the next level through branding.”

Ironically, now she’s kicking her new-kid-on-the-block past, Edwina’s latest collection ‘Pop’ is all about celebrating the childish.

“After I’d chosen my colour palate I realised it was looking really child-like and I really liked that over-sized smocks you’d wear in art class in primary school,” she says.

Edwina’s graduate collection was a real departure from her early monochrome collections, which coined the Soot name.  It’s like Rick Owens evolved into Muccia Prada. Soot AW14 sees a knit motif infused with tactile 3D polka dots.

“When I was in London I really wanted to learn how to knit because I saw so much cool knitwear there,” says Edwina.

“I just kind of made it like a goal. It just kind of seemed like I was missing out on a whole other world.”

Edwina’s design education started in her infancy. Her family ran a dancewear studio. While I doubt you’d see a Soot ensemble at an Eisteddfod, Edwina says it engrained her with a knowledge of tailoring.

“So I’ve always kind of been around fabric I’d say and design.

“Obviously it’s very different from dancewear, the Soot stuff. But I’ve always been bought up with terms and the language of garment construction.”

Soot’s doing much more than just the change in colour palate; with a Made in Australia stamp, longer hemlines and oversized looks, Soot’s appealing to more customers.

“I’ve always had a 15 to 25 demographic and they didn’t really care about it being Australian made.

“But now the styles are a bit more oversized and longer I think that the demographic is going to widen a lot more.

“Maybe people who are a bit more mature and who are really into design will appreciate that more and be willing to pay the higher price-point.”

Ah, they grow up so fast!

Keep your eyes and ears open for Soot’s shoe collaboration coming out soon.

(Pictured: Edwina's graduate collection)

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