Australian fashion label Aje is expanding into New Zealand.
The Sydney-headquartered clothing brand which has 18 stores in Australia will open its first international store in Auckland's Westfield Newmarket in September.
The 110 sq m store will be located on the second floor of the shopping centre and be home to eight personal stylists. Recruitment for the roles will begin shortly.
Aje co-founder and chief executive Adrian Norris said the brand was opening a store in Auckland in response to demand, with New Zealand being the brand's second largest market behind Australia.
Norris said expansion into New Zealand was a logical move and the Auckland store would be a flagship - one of significant investment. He could not share figures.
Norris said the store would be similar in concept and designs to its Australian stores.
"We wanted it to be a very design-led store and I think the finished design definitely speaks to where Aje has been and definitely where it is going in the future."
Aje - an abbreviation of Adrian joins Edwina - plans to have a network of 20 stores by 2020. Norris and Aje co-founder and creative director Edwina Forest, longtime friends who founded the brand together in 2008, will visit New Zealand in August to scout out locations for future stores.
Further expansion throughout New Zealand is "on the cards" for Aje but Norris could not share any further details. He said opening stores in New Zealand and in other international markets was the next phase of growth for the business.
"New Zealand is our first international expansion and the next growth phase for the business is internationally so it's really exciting to be able to do the first one in New Zealand," Norris said.
Aje is also looking into the possibility of opening stores in London and Paris.
Scentre Group director of New Zealand development and retail leasing, John Papagiannis, said the Australian shopping centre operator was thrilled to partner with Aje.
"What we're delivering at Westfield Newmarket is world-class, bringing together the best local and international fashion and luxury brands under one roof. Attracting a high-calibre brand such as Aje is testament to the unparalleled fashion offering our customers can expect at Westfield Newmarket," Papagiannis said.
Aje is also sold through wholesale, including at upmarket department store David Jones in Wellington and 44 other locations throughout Australia.