Career Code: Meet One of Sydney's Most Powerful Women in Fashion
In honour of Hillary Kerr and Katherine Power’s new book, The Career Code: Must-Know Rules for a Strategic, Stylish, and Self-Made Career ($22), we’re kicking off an interview series featuring 17 questions (in honour of the book’s 17 chapters) about the work lives of the most inspirational female leaders in the fashion industry. So far, we’ve tapped Rebecca Minkoff, Sally Singer, Rachel Zoe, and more. Up next? Pip Edwards.
Pip Edwards is without a doubt one of the most influential figures in the Australian fashion industry. As a stylist, creative director, designer, and now co-founder of P.E Nation, everything Pip touches turns to gold. Having worked for some of Australia’s largest fashion brands—Ksubi, sass & bide, and General Pants Co., the all-round cool girl knows what’s up. Pip shows no signs of slowing down—P.E Nation has been picked up by luxury worldwide stockists, and collaborations are in the pipeline. It’s an exciting time, which is why we had to sit down and figure out her key to success.
Keep scrolling to read Pip’s inspiring career and life advice.
"A busy, challenging, fun, creative, inspiring, fulfilling, sporty, supportive, rewarding and full on roller-coaster! It’s super fast-paced, and there is a lot of juggling involved, but it’s so exciting it gets me pumped for what’s ahead every day."
"Probably that I am involved in every aspect of the business. As co-founder, owner and director of P.E Nation, there is a lot of the structural and strategic side that needs to be considered everyday, in addition to the creative and marketing side, which is what I am better known for. As a start-up, we operate with a very lean team, which means being as hands-on as possible and across every decision. I am very involved in the detail. Claire (Tregoning, P.E Nation co-founder) and I oversee logistics, sales and marketing, customer service as well as actually designing the collections. I think some people think we just get to do the fun stuff, but as owners, its our responsibility to be across the entirety of the business. People see the creative outputs but don’t really understand how much goes on behind the scenes in order to run a successful business. create a brand and how to deal with product."
"I can’t remember exactly but to every one of my interviews in the past, I’ve worn my usual style—it's always involved denim. I think you need to be 'you' in an interview, and if you’re dressing to fit in, or the company you're interviewing with doesn't think your style is appropriate, then it’s probably not the right role for you anyway."
"Nothing. I wouldn’t change my path one bit. Except one thing! Maybe I would have done a graphic design course to get up to speed with all of those programs you think you’ll never need but actually need daily! Going forward, I wouldn’t mind doing a photography course—I love to direct shoots but it would be great to have the skills to do them as well."
"Honesty, energy/passion (counts as one!), confidence, experience, and skills."
"Your outfit shouldn’t command your energy. I know it can help some people when they wear a suit, but I wear activewear to work everyday. I don’t feel any less or more powerful. You are either a leader or you are not, it’s not dictated by what you wear."
"ENERGETIC!! Haha, I actually asked my publicist how she would describe me and she said ‘passionate, creative, energetic, inspiring, eager, resilient, fun, and incredibly hard-working’. I definitely make a point at being on everyone’s level and doing the work with them no matter how menial. I am one of the team. There isn’t an obvious hierarchy in our office. I love team work and I love everyone to be involved and to contribute."
"Brainstorm with my team. It’s the best way to develop ideas or sound them out and see if they’re any good! I ask my friends as well. I love seeking advice outside of the bubble. Alternatively, I get lost in the web (mostly Pinterest) as I get deep into research mode. If that doesn’t work, I actually hit the gym or beach to train—changing my surroundings generally sparks ideas!"
"Be prepared to confront your boss with your reasons why. Be confident in your next steps and know that resigning is really about moving forward. Be real. Tell the truth. Do it with integrity. Be respectful. Don’t make it personal. Remove the emotion."
"Lentils and meatballs. Or salade niçoise."
"They don’t speak up when they don’t know what they are doing. Owning what you can and can’t do is very important and makes for less mistakes."
"Squeeze a lemon into warm water and drink it as soon as I wake up (an old ritual that I’ve just started doing again). And at night, a cup of licorice tea before bed."
"My dad told me to be genuinely interested, not just interesting. I think that’s really good advice, especially in a cutthroat industry such as fashion! To engage, understand and learn, rather than talk the talk with no substance."
"What next year looks like for P.E NATION! I love working on the upcoming collections and upcoming collaborations—it’s exciting to think BIG!"