5 New Labels Set to Shake Up This Year’s Australian Fashion Week

australian fashion week next gen

At Australian Fashion Week every year, as much as we look forward to seeing the creativity and different direction our trusty favourite designers take, it’s also a treat to see what new designers are doing, too.

What will these new designers do to make a mark on the industry at their inaugural AFW week? Will they play it safe, tapping into trends showcased at other fashion weeks around the world, or will they shake things up with designs unlike anything else we’ve seen before?

This year’s AFW, which will Monday, May 13 to Friday, May 17, promises to have more of the latter. Ahead, we round up some of those designers.  


Ethical and sustainable brand Mastani will host its debut Australian Fashion Week runway on Tuesday, May 14 at 2pm at Carriageworks. Mastani founder and creative director, Kudrat Makkar, aims to preserve and revitalise her Indian cultural heritage through the brand’s designs. They feature hand-loomed silks, ornate embroideries and hand-marble printing. To date, over one tonne of textile waste has been upcycled by the brand.

Amy Lawrance

Amy Lawrance will show as part of Australian Fashion Week Next Gen designers show at 11am on Monday, May 13. The eponymous label was founded in Melbourne in 2020. Lawrence aims to tell stories with each piece of clothing, working with mostly undyed silks, organza and repurposed vintage materials. Her fashion focuses on minimal-waste creation, precise tailoring and feminine details.

Emily Watson

Emily Watson is an eponymous swim and resort wear label started in Melbourne in 2019, also an Australian Fashion Week Next Gen winner and showing in the show on Monday. All pieces are designed and made in Melbourne, but stocked at boutiques in Seoul, Shanghai and New York City. They focus on intertwining swimwear with avant-garde design practices. Think bikinis with ruffles, ties and patchwork.


Another Next Gen winner showing on Monday, Potirakis is a label by Whitehouse Design Graduate Chris Potirakis in 2021. Potirakis implements technologies like AI and VR into his design process. Contrast is the foundation of the label’s design philosophy, exploring the paradoxical nature of maturity and childhood reminiscence. It takes inspiration from video games in the ‘00s but also corporate lifestyles.

Madre Natura

Though Sydney-based fashion label Madre Natura has showed at Melbourne Fashion Week, it’ll debut at Australian Fashion Week on Thursday, May 16 at 3pm. The slow fashion label by founder and creative director Jackie Galleghan produces men’s, women’s and gender-neutral pieces, made in Sydney and designed to last.

Related: Seven to Shop: Including a Striped Shirt With Endless Outfit Possibilities
The AFW Schedule Is Out, and a Few Shows Are Open to the Public

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