Edna is a half-Japanese, half-German, short fashion designer and auteur. She is known for calling everyone "Dahling" ("darling"). 

Edna has created custom-made original outfits for superheroes since the "glory days", saying that she designs for gods. It is apparent that she feels infinitely superior to all other designers in the world and shows much disregard towards runway boutiques and modern fashion models, claiming that she had gone to Milan to design clothing for the supermodels, and called them "spoiled, stupid little stick-figures with poofy lips who think only about themselves". 

Edna is called out of a 15-year period of imposed retirement to repair damage to Bob's supersuit, and ends up producing a series of completely new, matching outfits for the entire Parr family. For safety reasons, she is very insistent on not including capes in the new design, mainly because any superhero who had a cape got killed or trapped.

She is very talented and as demanding of others as she is of herself. 

Some believe that Edna is based on the real-life fashion designer, Edith Head and possibly Mary Quant. Her name refers to EMode, a small piece of custom design software used by Pixar (not related to other similarly-named software). Calling the character "Mode" is also certainly a pun on the French and German word for Fashion. Also, her hairstyle, personality, and appearance at European fashion shows may be a vague connection to Vogue super-editor and fashion force Anna Wintour.

Others believe that this character may be based on Costume designer Una Jones, who shares not only in physical appearance with the character, but also in personality. Jones is also acquaintances with many pixar staff, as she lives near Orlando, in central Florida.

Edna's hairstyle, ultra-diminutive stature and facial features also resemble actress Linda Hunt's fashion editor character Regina Krumm, in Robert Altman's 1994 film Prêt-à-Porter. Her catchphrase of "dahling" may be a reference to actress Tallulah Bankhead.

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