Relax with Asceno

Originally born from sleepwear and now so much more, we spoke with Asceno founder, Poppy Sexton-Wainwright, to discuss the brand's timeless allure…

1st May, 2024

No brand at FoS chills us out more than Asceno. Almost a decade ago, the brand was founded through a desire to create truly luxurious sleepwear. That was eight years ago and now the label is as well-known for their easy, breezy separates (a firm favourite in our office) and silky dresses that are a must-have for long and lazy beach days. We spoke with the brand’s founder, Poppy Sexton-Wainwright, about her latest collection and confident the spirit of the Asceno girl.

FoS: Asceno is a relatively young brand yet it continues to go from strength to strength. It’s definitely the fashion girls go-to! What do you feel is the allure?


Poppy: The timelessness of our pieces and their versatility – you can wear them at home, away on holiday, to work or simply out for dinner with friends. The designs should always feel modern but withstand the test of time and not date in your wardrobe. 


FoS: You have successfully struck a chord with stylish women in the Middle East and beyond. What do you think it is about your designs that connects with them?


Poppy: The fabrics we use are incredibly practical for the climate - and of the highest quality, silk, organic linen and cotton and our silk-cotton mix which we launched last year. But the silhouettes are in the majority modest, while still being elegant and elevated for downtime dressing. 


FoS: Asceno designs create a sense of beautiful calm. How do you hope women feel when they wear one of your pieces?


Poppy: I wanted to create clothes for women that allow them to be the purest version of themselves - relaxed, confident and carefree. 


FoS: Who is the Asceno woman and how does she influence your design process?


Poppy: I am inspired by incredible women and their powerful femininity - I love seeing a woman wear our clothes and not the clothes wear her, per se. Seeing how she styles them with jeans; thrown over swimwear or simply worn with a great sneaker. I am always inspired by an innate confidence in a woman - muses of our brand would be Zoe Kravitz, Amber Valetta and Lauren Hutton. 


FoS: You put a lot of focus into your fabric sourcing and sustainability goals. Can you explain a little more about this?


Poppy: If it comes from the earth it can be returned to the earth is a mantra I hold dear. We are always looking at more sustainable practices and materials in our every day to try and ensure the brand is leaving a smaller impact on the earth. We have always tried to produce in smaller production runs to reduce our waste and excess. As we continue to grow as a brand it is important that we are always learning and discovering new practices to a more sustainable future.


FoS: When you travel, where and who inspires you the most?  


Poppy: I seem to always return to Portugal; it is filled with memories of holidays with family, days and evenings spent on the beach with my children. I also adore Mallorca, we hosted an Asceno Girls trip there last year. I love the rich earthy colours, the people and also the ease the island brings – it seems synonymous with the same energy I hope our brand brings too.


FoS: What are your top style tips this summer and how will you be incorporating them when wearing Asceno?


Poppy: I love simplicity for the summer and not wearing anything overly fussy. My go to summer dress is the linen Lisbon maxi which I wear with sandals in the city and barefoot over swimwear on the beach. I live in our shirts over the summer and am excited about the new Montauk shape in the silk twill which I will wear with jeans to dinner and our forever classic Aurelia linen trousers for a more elegant look. 


FoS: What’s next for the brand as we look to the new season and beyond?


Poppy: I have just finished designing the Resort collection and it's always exciting to see the new colourways, exploring new materials and shapes for the cooler months, which I love. We also have some exciting brand partnerships in the pipeline and I am forever inspired by the women we meet in our Asceno Girls feature - we just featured Jamie Mizrahi, the LA based stylist, she was on my list for some time. It is always a joy to see how these incredible women style the collections.