By Amanda Cunningham



HEW, an emerging luxury Australian label based in the warehouse-laden suburb of Collingwood, is making a splash in the menswear market. I sat down with founder and designer Ema Hewitt to talk about her work overseas and the HEW journey.


Ema Hewitt’s fashion career has been a lifetime journey. It is hard to pinpoint a pivotal moment in her life that lead directly down the fashion path. The creative hobby started when Ema made clothes while at school to sell them to fellow classmates. Things got serious in 2006 when Ema created a womenswear label named “Ema” and sold designs to a boutique in South Yarra.


It was obvious that Ema would go on to study fashion, as she graduated from RMIT in 2010. Ema took the plunge to go overseas, heading to Paris to complete a fashion internship in costume design. Here she worked one-on-one with the designer, in an intimate space, sewing and completing garments.


I saw a gap in the menswear market for bright, vibrant and contemporary prints,”


This changed dramatically when Ema moved to Los Angeles. She interned for some of the best fashion designers and costume designers the City of Angels had to offer, such as the iconic show Mad Men, working within a large production team on garment research, history and development. It was during these years travelling that Ema’s keen interest in sophisticated and contemporary menswear design began to grow.


On returning to Australia 2012, Ema found herself again working in costume design for renowned programs such as House Husbands, Neighbours and Dancing with the Stars. Ema noticed herself constantly struggling to find vibrant menswear pieces that would pop on TV. “I saw a gap in the menswear market for bright, vibrant and contemporary prints,” she says, “so I decided to start designing patterned shirts in collaboration with local graphic designers, which then became a collection.”


HEW launched in 2014 with the inaugural HEW collection “Orlando”, inspired by California, the street Ema lived in L.A., sun-kissed beaches and modern living. HEW designs are easily recognisable: classic cuts show off the garments’ bright, locally designed patterns and luxury fabrics perfectly. “HEW is all about quality, modernity and the unlikely marriage of subtle hues with bold and playful patterns. In other words, HEW clothes are timeless pieces for work, play and Californian dreaming,” Ema says.


The Melbourne label is only in its beginnings but it is already making a statement in the menswear market. The unique HEW line is made up of sophisticated tailored shirts, classic blazers, pants and shorts, with accessories such as bowties, neckties and socks on the horizon.


To shop the range online head to hewclothing.com



Amanda is a communications student at RMIT University. It took a psychology degree, three overseas trips and self-exploration before she was first published in The Fashion Advocate.

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