Question. How EXACTLY does one express the pride they feel when seeing their BEST FRIEND'S dreams become a reality? What words could there possibly BE to convey how it feels to not only watch, but actually LIVE through the blood, sweat and tears that were shed to get here?
This is the conundrum I am faced with trying to write this article. Pip Edwards and I have been friends for over a decade. We have been there, done that and seen it all together. But rather than go into specifics (your hair would literally stand on end.....) I simply want to celebrate this incredible, talented, funny, creative, insane, beautiful, manic superhero that I get to call my friend. If you want to know Pip just take a look at what she's created. She's all over it. It is her down to the BONE. I cornered her for a precious few moments to find out how her hotly anticipated label came about and just what makes this girl tick.
Welcome to P.E NATION
Give us a bit of background…"Pip Edwards" has obviously worn many hats. Where did you come from and how has it helped to get you where you are today?
After working for PricewaterhouseCoopers in Risk Management straight out of university, I transitioned into PR and then design for Ksubi before working as the Senior Creative and Accessories Designer at sass & bide. I'm currently the Design Director at General Pants Co as well as the Co-Founder of P.E Nation so I am definitely busy!! Every career move has been a highlight and they've each served a purpose and were unique in their own right. Doing my own thing had always been brewing in the back of my mind but it wasn’t until I was at lunch with Claire (*Tregoning... fellow designer and business partner) that the penny dropped and P.E Nation was born.
Earliest fashion moments/memories??
My mum said that as a little girl I was having fashion outfit meltdowns at the age of 3 hahahaha!!!! Fashion has always been in my blood. I can almost relate every memory or experience back to an outfit - a piece of clothing can take me back to a time or place, I guess that's why fashion runs a little bit deeper for me.
"Who Is" the P.E Nation woman??
She's definitely a reflection of Claire and I - juggling work, kids and fitness. She likes to look stylish but wants to feel comfortable as well.
In an already saturated “Athleisure-wear” market what gives P.E NATION a point of difference? Talk us through some key aspects that set you apart.
P.E Nation has a really strong fashion aesthetic - it's got a cool street vibe with a sport edge; it's design driven; has a strong personality and identity; and it's functional whilst blurring the lines between sport and street. I guess you could say it's functional athleisure wear.
You have entwined “Fashion" and “Function” together in your range. How important was representing these two elements?
This activewear trend is no longer a trend, it's a lifestyle. People are time poor and juggle a lot in their lives, so if you can wear an outfit that actually gets you through your day given all the varied activities, it makes sense! It's super important to fuse the two [fashion and function], so you don’t look like you are just wearing your gym gear!!
Given that we used to DJ together I know how important music is to you. What's on your playlist at the moment? Do you reference musical trends when designing the range?
Ahhhhh the playlist!!!!!! On repeat is Cream On Chrome - Ratatat, Bassically - Tei Shi, In the Night - The Weeknd, anything by Sky Ferreira
What can BBLS expect from P.E. NATION in the future?
Collabs. I’m really looking forward to collaborating with like-minded brands, expanding categories and exploring more swim and leisure wear, specifically getting into denim and knit to really complete the P.E vibe.
FAST & FURIOUS
I believe in…. ME !!!!!
My family… Keep me together, they keep my world afloat, they are everything.
Favourite item of clothing and why… My P.E Nation Rocky Mesh Tee - cos I can literally wear it everywhere, at anytime, to anything.
Favourite shopping destinations… In Sydney I head to Parlour X for a dose of high end fashion and then head to General Pants for a dose of denim !!!! In LA I go to Opening Ceremony, in NYC I go to Barneys and in Paris I love Colette.
Your last 'pinch me' moment… Last week I showed the P.E Nation collection to the American Vogue fashion team and they took me on a tour of the office. I walked in to check out Anna Wintour's office. INCREDIBLE. MIND BLOWING. A full Sex and the City moment. I even ran into Grace Coddington. I mean, WTF !!!!!!!!!!!! Pinching myself doesn’t even cut it.
I would lose my shit it if I saw P.E. on…. RHI RHI !!!! C’mon Rhi Rhi !!!!! Second to that Gigi Hadid, of course.
You can put a band together with anyone in it... who would it be, what would they play and why? Well it's obvious that you and I would sing together!!! hahaha... I mean we kind of do that already?!!!!
I can't live without… my son... JUSTICE.