These Four Emerging Designers Will Be on Everyone’s Lips Post-AAFW

Courtesy of AAFW

One of the most exciting arts after Afterpay Australia Fashion Week, is witnessing all of the up-and-coming designers who are destined to shape the future of Australian fashion.

For the past 26 years, AAFW puts on a Next Gen runway, which showcases the collections of emerging designers as a part of AAFW’s emerging designer program.

This year’s winners are shaping the future of Australian fashion by pushing boundaries with their designs and sparking important conversation around sustainability, inclusivity and more,” Natalie Xenita, Vice President-Managing Director of IMG Fashion Events and Properties, Asia-Pacific said in a statement.

“I’m very much looking forward to seeing each of them make their debut on the runway this May at AAFW.”

So are we — so let’s get stuck in.

What Is AAFW’s Next Gen Runway?

Established in 1996 with the goal of identifying Australia’s emerging designers, Next Gen has helped discover and launch the careers of top industry names in Australia. Designers such as Akira, Anna Quan, BEC + BRIDGE, CAMILLA AND MARC and sass & bide, have burst onto the scene and into success, thanks to the launching pad of Next Gen.

Winners are selected for both their experience in design and ability to harness fashion’s power as a means of communicating important societal issues that influence culture.

Valued at over $100,000, each of the four winning designers win a runway show production — the Next gen runway at AAFW — a content package including runway photography and global livestream, and international shipping credits provided by DHL.

The four winning designers also receive industry networking opportunities, exposure to AAFW’s attending buyers, and invaluable marketing, publicity, digital and social media support to reach a global audience.

And now, the 2023 winners have been revealed.

What Designers Will Feature in the 2023 Next Gen Runway?

Cameron Hill

Founded in 2021, Cameron Hill’s eponymous brand draws on a love for handmade textures and machine knitting, seeking to re-conceptualise grandma-esque knitted lacework and intricate geometric patterning.

Courtesy of Cameron Hill

The designer’s knitwear-focused collections are minimal yet luxurious, marrying innovation with rich textiles.

Liandra Swim

Launched in the summer of 2018 by Liandra Gaykamangu, a Yolngu woman from North-East Arnhem land, Liandra Swim fuses contemporary Aboriginal Australian culture with premium designer swimwear.

Courtesy of Liandra Swim

The brand’s signature prints are inspired by the designer’s lived experiences and how Gaykamangu connects with community, culture, and country.

Ruby Pedder

Ruby Pedder debuted in 2021 with a proposition for casual couture that eschews the usual criteria of womenswear in favour of artistic, sculptural and wearable art.

Courtesy of Ruby Pedder

Casual but couture, Ruby Pedder is a made to order brand that blurs the lines between art and fashion.

Delicate art forms and silhouettes are warped and altered into explosive and aberrant forms, inspired by the rebellious attitudes of surrealism and feminist movements.

Xi Wu Studio

Designer Xizhu Wu founded Xi Wu Studio in 2021 to design clothes that are artistically engaging with subtle juxtapositions and contemporary detailing.

Courtesy of Xi Wu Studio

The studios practice intertwines traditional and new design techniques, each collection telling the story of Wu’s bicultural upbringing via both Eastern and Western garment techniques.

Who Decides the Winners?

To determine the winners, IMG assembled a prestigious panel of global industry experts.

These included: designer Bianca Spender, David Jones general manager of Womenswear, Footwear and Accessories Bridget Veals, Fashionista Editor-in-chief Dhani Mau, Dazed and British Vogue Contributor Isabelle Truman, Grazia and Icon Fashion Director Kim Payne, Net-a-Porter Market Director Libby Page, Vogue China Editor-in-chief Margaret Zhang, Vogue India Head of Editorial Megha Kapoor, IMG Fashion Events and Properties Asia-Pacific Vice President and Managing Director Natalie Xenita, Harper’s Bazaar Fashion News Director and WWD Correspondent Patty Huntington, Cobber Magazine and Mate Model Management Founder Rhys Ripper, and Rick Owens designer Tyrone Susman.

So yep, just a few important industry names.

When Is the 2023 Next Gen Runway?

The Next Gen Runway is a part of Afterpay Australian Fashion Week and is open to the public.

It’s set to be at Carriageworks, on Friday May 19 at 2pm.

You can buy tickets to the Next Gen runway and get all additional information here.

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