Australian Fashion Designers in Florence Giving Fashion Down Under Some Hope

Australian fashion has arguably been long overlooked in the international fashion scene, most especially for male Australian fashion designers. However, a number of designers are making waves internationally in one of the traditional homes for men’s fashion, Italy. 

Photo Credit: D’Marge

Three heavyweight fashion names – The Woolmark Company, The Australian Fashion Chamber and the Fondazione Pitti Immagine Discovery, are shining a light on eight Australian fashion designers, each with a story to tell. These names include Chris Ran Lin, Commas, Double Rainbouu, Ex Infinitas, P.E. Nation, Sener Besim, Strateas.Carlucci and Ten Pieces. These Australian fashion designers were chosen to head Australia’s Guest Nation program at Pitti Uomo event in Florence which is said to be the most influential international platform for men’s fashion and accessories collections. As a result of this, the designers were given a brief to follow: to showcase the versatility of Merino wool.

While this is exciting news for Australian fashion, it is all a part of a greater scheme at putting Australian fashion back on the map.

When looking back, it is clear that the fashion industry in Australia has only developed its own identity in the past two decades. Historically, Australian fashion was always based on adapting the looks that evolved internationally, predominantly from European countries. This has caused an evolutionary shift in the Australian fashion society.

Lisa Ho and models wearing her designs before she closed her fashion line due to bankruptcy.
Photo Credit: Sassi Sam

The industry faced some struggles as time persisted. From the 2000s, inner-city property ownership became more expensive, which meant that shopfronts struggled to maintain a steady income to outweigh the difficult factors like rent. With the constant demand for new lines tied in with technology and the internet, some labels just didn’t make the cut.

However, those labels that managed to skip the great fashion depression, have been able to take part in the revolutionary modernisation of fashion in Australia. With constant advancements of technology within our society, it is becoming easier for fashion designers to reach a larger international audience with the help of instant feedback (through liking and commenting), blogging and visual streams like photography and videos. Along with the greater ability to reach audiences through social media, global events like the Pitti Uomo event in Florence is giving Australian fashion another chance at the big leagues.

P.E Nation – Pip Edwards and Claire Tregoning – were chosen to represent Australia at the Pitti Uomo event in Florence – Photo Credit: Broadsheet

Recently, Pitti Immagine’s managing director Raffaello Napoleone told Broadsheet that Australia is one of the most exciting and fastest growing places in fashion today.

“We have been strengthening our relations with Australia for a while, working closely with the Australian institutions promoting fashion abroad,” says Napoleone. “We want to highlight the essence of Australian design and lifestyle, with a selection of cutting-edge fashion designers and brands, within a global platform as Pitti Uomo and its audience of international top buyers, media and fashion key players.”

The Pitti Uomo event in Florence is a significant leap for Australian menswear designers and it is exciting to see Australian fashion being showcased on such a large and international scale. It is one small step at putting the Australian fashion scene on the map and highlights the ability that fashion has at bringing international creatives together.

For more information on the Pitti Uomo event, see their website here.