Grace Kelly of Joaen

The founder Grace Kelly speaks about the origins of the brand and the name, and what inspired her to start her label.

Grace Kelly of Joaen

Can you share with us some insights about yourself and the origins of your brand, Joaen?

JOAEN is an Australian label that embodies a merging of generations to celebrate timeless qualities. The name JOAEN is a testament to generations of remarkable makers and women in my family. Women who were ahead of their time, independently powerful and timeless in their beauty. The name was formed by merging the names of my grandmother, Joan, and great-grandmother, Jean, both on mum’s side. These women remain a true inspiration for the lives they led - simple, minimalist lifestyles, continually fostering their artisanal skills and humbly contributing to their communities. Their true being ultimately defines the foundational values and qualities that are held within all JOAEN women.

Personal connection and purpose behind design is a core value of JOAEN. We design wardrobes, not trends. We offer quality and investment pieces that you will cherish forever. We love all the women in our JOAEN community and can’t wait to see this grow even more.
JOAEN is so many things to me. A lifestyle, a feeling of my grandma’s presence, a community of special people, a best friend, an embodiment of conscious values, a brand of timeless pieces, something of long-term stability, and a new movement. I think we are or hope to be more than just a fashion brand.

I live and breathe JOAEN, and have done so even before it became official. I studied Fashion Design at the Queensland University of Technology, and did a small stint of studies at UAL: Central Saint Martins. You will always find me with an extra-strong coffee, dirty martini, OR red wine in hand…and my little Frenchie Peggy two steps behind me.

Could you take us through the early stages of your journey?

I graduated from university about 12 months into Covid-19. At the time, no fashion house was really hiring a junior designer or intern, so it was really really difficult to navigate a future in the industry. Owning my own label was always THE dream and end goal, but I never could have imagined it coming to fruition at the age of nearly 23!

The idea of JOAEN and what I wanted to create in a brand was always there, but it was definitely a case of ‘right place and right timing’. It is and probably will always be, the biggest leap of faith I have ever taken in my life. I am so lucky to have the most supportive parents, and with support from my family and friends, my dream soon became a very scary reality.

Although JOAEN is still such a young business and I continue to learn something new every day, it has come so far and has had such an incredible response to those who have engaged with us thus far.

What are your future plans and aspirations both personally and for Joaen as a brand?

Personally - to have a holiday and actually stop. It's been a big two years! Hoping for something overseas next year for a few weeks. It will be so lovely to recoup with some fresh new inspiration and a clear head space. But finding time to take off from your business which is 24/7, is so hard! JOAEN - Grow our list of stockists. Trunk show in Paris/London. Participate in a fashion week somewhere. Grow our community. Expand our design range.

Can you tell us about the upcoming Spacefor activation? What can customers expect from you, and why did you decide to do it?

Wardrobe One and the beginning of Wardrobe Two's drop. We also have the beautiful Narjia Brownlie joining us to share her practice that guided and inspired the Gossamer painting - our print for Wardrobe Two.

Quick Answers

Currently, my favourite brands are: Loewe. Khaite. The Row. Beare park. Maggie Marilyn. Wynn Hamlyn. By Malene Birger. House of Dagmar.

An object or item I can't live without: Airpods…on my fourth pair. Lose them all the time!

My favourite online destination is: Vestiaire. Moda Operandi. Matches.

My favourite place to shop is: I love the Iconic Liberty building and shopping all the beautiful brands they stock. So Chic!

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