Remix was lucky enough to catch up with the ever-humble and kind Aisha Jade who has an amazing story to tell and an amazing style that goes along with it. The New Zealand-born beauty is based in Las Angeles and is paving the way for women worldwide, as a successful businesswoman, creative, designer, model, actress and overall wonderful human being. We chat unique style, social media, influence, wellbeing and her experience being a part of the Superdry AW19 / MY WAY campaign.
You're originally from Mount Maunganui. What are your favourite things to do there when you head back?
It’s hard to leave, but amazing coming back. The best place to grow up! Of course one of the first things I like to do is get up the top of the Mount, it never gets old. I’ve walked the track so many times, but it’s always a different experience. I get up there, I usually get in the ocean after, and then I love hibernating at my parent’s place.
You’ve recently become a face of the Superdry AW19 campaign, which aims to celebrate uniqueness, individuality, mental health awareness and plenty more. How does the campaign resonate with you?
For me, it was really cool because there is so much that I do love about the industry, and then on the flip side there's so much not to love about it as well. The sides that I don’t love, is when people become just a face or just a number at the top of the screen. They become analytic and they're not celebrated for being an individual; for being unique and who you are.
That is what I really love about being chosen for this campaign, that I was purely chosen for being me. I wasn’t trying to be anyone else and they weren’t looking at numbers or anything like that. They wanted to celebrate my own label and successes through their label. It was awesome to stand alongside some big names and to be able to shed light on things like mental health awareness.
To have a bit of a following in this day in age comes with a lot of responsibility to share the tough times, as well as the good. Instagram is a highlight reel, but what I loved about this campaign was that Superdry talked about mental health awareness and how each individual gets through. Everyone has a story and a road they have taken, so it’s nice to celebrate that. A lot of people can probably see bits of them in everybody that worked on that campaign, which is really cool.
How have you found the experience modelling as the face of a global fashion brand so far?
I’ve absolutely loved working with Superdry on this campaign because they were so inclusive and they were like “let’s celebrate you, let’s hear about you, let’s talk”. It’s daunting walking onto any set, especially a set with big names. I definitely still pinch myself. But, Superdry is like one big family which is really cool to be a part of and that’s how they made you feel on the day.
I guess wellbeing generally has always been a big part of my life, I’ve always played sports and been involved in other activities that weren’t just the school curriculum. I’ve always thought, what else can I do? It's the same idea for my work, it’s been great to celebrate wellbeing, especially for women and self-care, because I’ve probably put more of a focus on it this year. I just thought, instead of just posting another bikini picture with nothing to say, I want to have a voice on social media and talk about something with substance, and with more depth. Your wellbeing, self-care and self-love are so important, and it’s been great to be able to celebrate that on a platform like Instagram which in the past has been used as a platform to compare and not practice self-love.
I’ve been doing the whole Instagram thing for five years now and I’ve seen the industry change a lot, so for me, it’s like, okay if I'm going to fall out of this because of the way it’s going, I could be the change that I want to see on that and share more of that message than anything else. Being a bit more conscious with how you shop and how you take care of yourself and just everything; being a voice for that has helped me fall in love with my industry again.
Lots of young females especially, find you relatable. You do have so much influence, and I can imagine it helps them a lot having someone like you to look up to and to show them that any job comes with its ups and downs.
For sure, that’s the reason I love it because if even one girl can look at something I'm doing and go “I could do that or that could be me or I’m not alone in this,” then I've done my job and I’m so happy with that. I noticed that I made that shift and I was just influxed with positive messages of thanks and gratefulness. I was like, great, job done, that's all I want.
That’s what I want, to share that it’s not all rainbows and butterflies so that people can relate. Because, it is; Instagram, typically and traditionally has been a highlight reel and I do try to keep it very happy and positive and empowering. The most private bits of my life remain quite private. If I can share that everything hasn’t always been so easy, it allows people to see that not every day is perfect but you can still achieve what you want to achieve.
How do you express your own story and personality through your style?
I’ve always just dressed the way I wanted. My mum even said that even when I was four years old like usually you’d send a kid upstairs to get changed and they’d come down in something horrendous like angel wings, but Mum said I always come down with a pretty sick outfit on.
I feel like for me getting dressed, and style has always been something that I never cared about. I never thought I had to look at what the fashion trends were, I kind of always knew the way that I liked to dress. I’m very much a girly girl at heart, but I was also one of the boys as well. My six best friends in high school were males. So I kind of always had that not wanting to be super girly and showy, and just wanting to roll with the boys. I used to probably share their clothes with them. There is nothing better than chucking on a hoodie, that could also be a dress with a pair of sneakers.
But as I have evolved and gotten older, for me what I love about running with this business that I have and sharing my unique style is to share that beautiful line between masculine and feminine. You can still feel very powerful and gorgeous and be wearing pants and a shirt or jacket, it’s just the way you wear it and style it. It’s the way you hold yourself as well, it takes confidence to wear whatever you are wearing. That's what I hope through my clothes, that’s the gift that I hope to give, for people to realise that style and fashion is easy. You shouldn’t have to break a sweat over it and you shouldn’t have to feel uncomfortable in what you are wearing. Comfortability is where empowerment comes from.
What one word would you use to describe your unique style?
It’s so hard to put it into one word, but I would say comfortable. Actually, you know what, I would say easy.
Who has most influenced your fashion sense?
My mum has been a massive influence on my fashion sense because she is the biggest bargain hunter. We have wildly different styles, she wears florals, bright lipstick. We are opposite, but my mum taught me from a very young age that the price tag or the label doesn't matter. It taught me how to be thrifty and unique from a really young age.
You've built such a powerful career for yourself at a young age. Have you had to make many sacrifices to get to the position you're in today?
To be honest, yes and no. Yes in the fact that I live super far away from my family and it’s been years now that I have been away from New Zealand- 10 years. I’m about to turn 28 and I moved when I turned 18. So I guess the sacrifice that I have made is that I have had to leave the country to kind of go out and explore the world, but in saying that, New Zealand will always be here for me and I'm super grateful. It’s grounding to know that this place will always be home and it will always be here.
So again, it’s a sacrifice, but also not. I’m very lucky that I haven’t had to sacrifice too much. I have always just gone with the flow and I guess that if I could share the message with anyone, just go with the flow and if you are brave and you have a good head on your shoulders and a good heart, then you kind of end up doing things that you couldn't even fathom you could even do. My Mum always said you’re not lucky, you’ve been brave and you’ve made these things happen.
You are so authentic and open about your life on social media, which is incredibly refreshing and inspiring; and hopefully paves the way for others to do the same. Do you still feel pressure to conform and show only the best and most idealistic version of yourself?
Yeah definitely, but I don’t think it’s from the outside pressure, I think it’s the pressure I put on myself like you're getting a bit deep and meaningful too often, let's just get happy all the time. In saying that it’s pretty easy to overcome because it is just my own crap, my own shit. If you take a look at a lot of the stresses in life and a lot of the fears and all these things, it’s the stuff that we’ve made up in our own minds. So it takes a lot of practice and time to recognise that these thoughts pop up and it’s just yourself getting in your own head.
You moved from Sydney to LA two years ago. How are you finding LA, and do you think you'd ever move back to New Zealand?
I love LA, it is very very different to New Zealand, especially growing up in the Mount, where you live at the beach and walk everywhere. Sydney was a step up. I remember being a bit overwhelmed with Sydney and thinking it was huge, but then after 5 years, Sydney became kind of small and I had done everything within my industry. LA is a beautiful place, it’s been a place of learning lessons and realising how small the world is. LA is also very different in terms of being overstimulated, there are a lot of people and a lot of homeless. Being in LA has really shown me where we are at in the world today. We are very lucky in New Zealand and are spoiled with good food, good people, not too bad traffic. I’ve loved my experience in LA, but it’s not where I’ll end up. New Zealand will always be home and LA will always have a special place in my heart, but it’s widely different.
Have you noticed a difference in the way people dress in the Mount, Sydney and LA?
Definitely, I think New Zealand has always given me a base for such a laid back style. Living in the Mount is all about comfortability. Then Sydney was a step up. Moving there at 18, I realised now I can wear a pair of heels and not get judged and then I realised that I don't like wearing heels and went back to wearing my sneakers. It was more, I guess expressive would be the word.
LA is on a whole other level of its own. You’ll drive down Fairfax and be like, “holy heck what is that shop?” There is some really unique style there, but I love that New Zealand has been the birthplace of my style because it has allowed me to go to places all the way from Sydney to LA and have that laid back undertone come with me. It’s really well respected and people do love it over there. They are either on one end of the spectrum or the other, they haven't found that balance of in-between. So I’m very grateful New Zealand has kept me laid back.
You are constantly travelling for work. Do you have a routine you stick to, and what are your top travel tips?
2019 was absolutely wild for me. Since April I was on a plane every second week on long haul flights. You book one thing and you're on the plane in four days, so you kind of don’t have too much time to prepare or plan. I try to keep a routine that I don’t need any outside source for, just me. I notice that getting up in the morning and meditating is a huge thing for me because flying alone is just so crazy on the body, on the mind, on the nervous system; so for me, daily meditation is the biggest part of my routine that I take with my around the world, and the best part of it is that I just need me and no one else. There is no wrong way to do it, you are just being with your thoughts and breathing deeply. You learn to catch those thoughts, and that’s what meditation teaches you.
Being a one-man-band and having my own business, means there are constantly so many different streams of thoughts that are going through my mind because I am not just working on my own business, I’m working on content with other brands and sharing the right message and trying to be someone that can be an inspiration to a younger generation; so there's constantly a lot going on in my mind and meditation has helped.
What were you most looking forward to coming back to New Zealand over the Summer?
Apart from being around family and friends, nothing beats a New Zealand Summer and seafood. My uncle’s oysters on the table and Dad makes a pretty mean raw fish. It’s the Kiwi food.
Do you have any major goals for 2020?
We are re-launching the new Boy By Her. We are rejigging the website and am bringing back the original. Boy By Her was originally a blog, where I could share a bit more about my style and wellbeing. When I launched the business, it sort of took the blog away. So we are re-launching it, you can find some pieces you like on Boy By Her, but also the blog section, where we talk more about consciously consuming and what health and wellbeing avenues are. There is so much information out there these days and it's a digestible, easy to understand and easy to take what you want from it place.
My other goal is to always see more of the world, whether that is in my own backyard or on the other side of the world. I always have that goal to see more of the world. It's important to have goals, but also the trick is to have them loosely there.
Do you have a go-to outfit?
I'm wearing long basketball shorts that are cotton with a matching t-shirt. Nice easy breezy outfit. I also love a good lady suit.
As a successful businesswoman, creative, model and plenty more; do you have any words of advice for females out there that are needing a bit of inspiration?
My biggest piece of advice would be to follow that intuition, follow that gut. Listen to that voice and let your head get out of the way. You never really know where the path is going to take you. To be successful in something and especially business, you have to do it because you love it, it’s the only way you are going to be successful. So you may as well go into the world and find what you love and turn it into what it’s going to be.