Design blends into life for Aesthete Founder Courtney Wemyss, who never switches off from ‘work mode’. Inspired by her environment, she’ll often find something that sparks a creative idea, no matter where she is. This endless curiosity and ability to find inspiration everywhere explains the name of her brand: Aesthete (noun), a person who has or professes to have refined sensitivity toward the beauty of art or nature. For Wemyss, however, this beauty must be cruelty-free, and it must be sustainable. Fortunately for the many fans of her designs, she is incredibly skilled at this, and her harm-free, stunning and timeless creations are as beautiful as they are environmentally friendly.
Lucy Siddall, in conversation with Courtney Wemyss, about sustainable styling and the importance of creating thoughtful home interiors.
Lucy Siddall: Tell me about Aesthete Label. What inspired the name?
Courtney Wemyss: The brand was born from my desire to live according to my vegan principles, and the word ‘aesthete’ encapsulates how I see a home. Somewhere visually pleasing that feels good to be in, where kindness and aesthetics co-exist. In my collections, you’ll never find products made from leather, wool, down, bone chine, etc. I also ensure the vintage pieces I source are entirely cruelty-free, and anything showcased on the site also fits that criteria.
LS: What is the ethos behind the brand’s ‘kinder way of living’ statement?
CW: I’m vegan and have been for many years, but when I looked for an interior brand with a cruelty-free ethos, I found hardly anything. Yet, many luxury fashion brands are moving away from animal-derived materials and towards more innovative and sustainable options, and I believe interiors should be doing the same. I want Aesthete Label to be an antidote to the throwaway culture deeply embedded in how many people shop today and for our customers to buy items they love and keep for a long time. I want to create vegan designs, but my designs are not just for vegans. I want to produce interiors so stunning people don’t notice they’re vegan, but I know that in making them, I’m benefiting the environment and not benefiting from animal cruelty. I’m not necessarily trying to change people’s minds, but I want to show an alternative route. I see it as a softer approach. Hopefully, after shopping at Aesthete Label, people will see, over time, how incredible non-leather pieces are. I want to become the Stella McCartney of interiors.