We’re celebrating 45 years in the Australian fashion industry this year and we couldn’t go past catching up with one of our favourites … Chloe Maxwell … the original ‘Jeanswest Girl’ as she’s fondly referred to, even to this day. The Jeanswest Fits Best campaigns were iconic times for Jeanswest and Belinda, our General Manager Marketing, caught up with Chloe to reminisce a little …
The story of you becoming a model is pretty extraordinary, tell us how it happened?
As a 16 year old running errands for Dad in Pitt St Mall, Sydney, I was stopped by Ursula from Chic Model Management (who might I add, is still my agent today), with a camera crew in toe, they were filming a story about finding talent on the street and turning them into a successful model.
I thought it would be fun to do for a little while … fast forward a few decades … and I was having the time of my life. New York was one of my favourite destinations along with living and working in Paris. Not forgetting the era when I was strutting the catwalks with Naomi, Christy, Linda, Cindy & Helena – I know, such amazing times!
What was it like finding out you got the Jeanswest job?
I’d been a model for several years doing some pretty cool stuff overseas but to come home and be offered to be the face of a brand like Jeanswest, it was just a dream come true! The Jeanswest Fits Best campaigns were so iconic with … ‘Jeanswest Fits Best’ being recited back to me almost everywhere I went, it was crazy. Until this day, I still get people reciting it back to me. It definitely made an impact on my career … helping to get me some amazing jobs on TV like Channel V where I was a VJ and got to interview some of the biggest bands in the world.
You worked with Jeanswest for numerous years, any standout memories?
Oh that’s hard, I loved all the campaigns. One memory that does stand out was when I’d been snowboarding for the weekend before a shoot and broke my wrist, the cast wasn’t the accessory
they had intended on set but they managed to dress it up to make it look cool for the TVC – funny!
Another time I was walking down William St in Sydney and on seeing a huge billboard of me, I thought gosh this is getting out of hand.
I just loved it … I loved being a part of a great brand. The adverts were iconic and clearly are still remembered today.
An amazing opportunity which wasn’t Advertising, Catwalk or on a Photography set was to travel to Ethiopia as an Ambassador for the 40 Hour Famine thanks to Jeanswest. I travelled around for 2 weeks filming a documentary and I have to say, it really was life‐changing.
Why do you think the Jeanswest brand has stood the test of time when some others have come and gone?
It’s such a real, genuine brand. Great clothing and quality with a friendly atmosphere in store.
So … are you still a denim devotee all these years later?
I definitely can’t live without my denim … it never goes out of fashion, it changes in wash and style but I still have a wardrobe full of denim, including some favourite Jeanswest jeans.
What are you up to these days?
I’m living up on the Gold Coast, running a not for profit charity with my husband Mat called 4 ASD Kids www.asdkids.com. Our son Max was diagnosed in 2009 with autism and we’ve been involved in fundraising and awareness ever since with some really amazing support and breakthroughs. I’m also working for ABC radio as an on air broadcaster and producer and lots of other bits and pieces in the media are keeping me busy. Oh, I’m also a published author too (‘Living with Max’). I’m still with Chic Management today, with Ursula (my second mum as I call her) instrumental in my career guiding me as a 16 year old in making the right choices and definitely the reason I’m still in the media and loving what I do today. She’s been amazing.