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Kyubu Community: Vestige Story

Kyubu Market

Posted on September 24 2017


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Brand: Vestige Story
Behind the Brand: Aileen Lee

Vestige Story wants to remind you of the importance of storytelling: each collection has a story to tell with each piece playing an integral role.  The brand wants to encourage you to create your own story, through a creative lifestyle and a thoughtfulness about how you express yourself through your clothes.  

Vancouver-based designer Aileen Lee, the creative force behind it all, is certainly an embodiment of her brand’s philosophy, living curiously and creatively and following a path of her own making.

KM sits down with Aileen to talk storytelling, inspiration and finding joy in the pursuit of experience.  



KM:  Tell us about your path to Vestige Story.

AL:  When I was younger, I wanted to be an artist or designer, but after applying and being accepted to design school I ultimately chose the more traditional path of a degree in English.  It turns out I enjoyed writing as much as I liked designing and this led to a position as an editor for a publication where I met a lot of interesting people, listened to their stories and discovered how deeply invested I was: I wanted to tell stories.  

Meanwhile, I began developing a handbag brand on the side and it sparked something in me: I wanted to design.  

It became apparent that I knew nothing about product development and design and, influenced by my design aspirations on one hand and my academic parents on the other, I pursued a design-related path of a Masters in Fashion Management in Hong Kong.  A design-related job followed, complete with a crash course on how to start a brand.  Now armed with experience, a supportive network and fueled by a love of clothes, I wanted to build my own brand: Vestige Story was born.          



Shop the Earthen Linen Wool Sweater


KM:  What is Vestige Story’s story?

AL:  I wanted to make clothes that had a message and could tell a story.  It started out as being more of an abstract concept but the story naturally formed as I started creating collections around the elements that that inspired me.  The first collection was peasant collection telling a story around farming.  Then came one inspired by telling a story about pastry chefs.  Another is formed around landscape painters.  The one coming up speaks about ceramic artists and the art of fine ceramics.  Every season, it is important to me to write a short story about each collection because each one has a meaningful story to tell.

If Vestige Story was just about the clothes, I wouldn’t be happy.  It’s the connection between the clothes and their story brings me a lot of joy.  



Shop the Mustard Washi Blouse.


KM:  Describe Vestige Story products.

AL:  Intellectual, simple and easy.    

Oftentimes, we don’t think about what clothes fit our character and our lifestyle and I want to encourage us to all start thinking about how our clothes fit into our own story.  It makes me happy to wear clothes that are just me and I want that for everyone.




KM:  What are you passionate about?

AL:  Life. Understanding humans: what makes us tick, our motivations, understanding our stories and how we work.

KM:  What would you be doing if you weren’t a designer?

AL:  So many things!  A singer…it’s not my best skill, but I used to sing in an an all girls rock band and am back doing a bit of singing now!  A playwright…I wrote and directed my first play when I was 13 and wrote another one in university.  A manga artist…my drawing skills could use work but I wrote and illustrated my own when I was young…

[KM Interlude: Amazing!]




KM:  Tell us a fun fact about yourself.

AL:  I’m actually very boring.

[KM Interlude: Umm…yeah, right!]

KM:  What is your favourite artist or brand? Why?

AL:  Yiqing Yim because her designs are a beautiful message.


Product Photography by: Etsuko Lee

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