Australian fashion designers are some of the best in the world. While we may have a smaller population than many of the major players, and exist many hours away from the style hub of Europe, our Australian fashion labels hold their own with the global heavyweights.
Designers like Dion Lee, Zimmermann and Christopher Esber have had a worldwide impact, from international runways to dressing some of the biggest names in modern fashion like Hailey Bieber, Kendall Jenner and Bella Hadid. On home turf, labels such as St. Agni and Sir set national fashion trends year-on-year. We are home to some of the best sustainable fashion brands in the world too, with labels like ESSE and Maggie Marilyn (yes, we’ll claim our New Zealand friends in this list!) proving that style doesn’t have to (literally) cost the Earth.
Founded in 2009, Dion Lee is one of the most best Australian fashion designers from a global success point-of-view. Beginning with a collection at Australian Fashion Week, the label quickly ended up on London and New York runways, now a staple of the international fashion month schedules.
Created by friends Nikki Campbell and Sophie Coote, SIR has fast become one of the most popular Australian fashion brands in the country, with the label’s seasonal collections often dictating trends, particularly during the warmer months when the brand’s feminine cuts and unique designs really shine.
One of the most best Australian fashion designers of recent years, Anna Quan is an exciting label that began with the reimagining of the crisp, white shirt. According to the designer, the label’s pieces “sit at the intersection of minimalism and understated luxury,” and we would have to agree.
Aje‘s signature style is structural, dramatic silhouettes – the Australian fashion label embodies feminine style and offers both minimalist essential pieces and statement party wear. Founders Adrian Norris and Edwina Forest have backgrounds in both the art and fashion world, and it’s reflected in Aje’s unique designs.
Oroton could best be described as timeless Australian style. Founded in 1938 and originally a European textiles importer, Oroton has remained a leader in fashion, with its premium leather accessories and minimalist collections staying true to its timeless style.
For eveningwear and glamour, Rachel Gilbert remains one of the best Australian fashion designers in the game. Pieces are meticulously crafted, often with painstakingly detailed embellishment and flirtatious detail. This is statement dressing at its best.
Launching in London in 2014 and then in Australia the following year, Rebecca Vallance is one of the best Australian fashion designers across the global market. The label is also a major celebrity success story, with style leaders like Sienna Miller, Hailey Bieber, Elsa Pataky and Joan Smalls all spotted wearing the brand over the years.
Camilla And Marc
Siblings Camilla Freeman-Topper and Marc Freeman have created are a powerhouse team in the Australian fashion brand space. Starting their label in 2003, the Camilla and Marc evolution has been immense, but the brand has never lost its commitment to timeless, minimalist design. Their work in the ovarian cancer awareness space is also commendable – having lost their mother to the disease as children, the siblings began their campaign ‘Ovaries. Talk about them‘, pushing for an early detection test for one of the hardest cancers to detect.
Founded in 1991, Zimmermann is easily one of the most successful Australian fashion brands in history. Sisters Nicky and Simone Zimmermann have continued to evolve their label, building on its original loyal following to create a brand that’s respected and loved worldwide. The brand’s resort collections are particularly adored – think the perfect capsule wardrobe for the Amalfi Coast, season after season.
Romance Was Born
Creative, innovative and always fun, Romance Was Born is one of those Australian fashion labels that creates investment pieces. Founders Anna Plunkett and Luke Sales are Australian fashion royalty, and continue to leave the style world breathless with their fusion of art and fashion.
One of the best Australian fashion designers for affordable, yet elevated style, St. Agni has always been in the business of refined details you’d usually expect from luxury labels, yet the brand remains accessible.
A minimalist’s dream, ESSE is an emerging Australian fashion label committed to capsule wardrobes and timeless style. Each piece from new collections (called Editions) is designed to work back with previous releases, minimising overconsumption and promoting a sustainable wardrobe.
Easily one of the best Australian fashion designers for 2023, Christopher Esber is very much having a moment. The label’s sheer panelling, cut-out details and structured, architectural designs are at the forefront of modern fashion, and with style makers like Margot Robbie and Hailey Bieber wearing the designer’s wares, the sky is the limit.
Australia has always seen itself as a sister country to New Zealand, so it’s only fair we include some of our favourite NZ designers in this list. Maggie Marilyn is one of the best – a sustainable fashion pioneer, the designer is all about “purchasing with intention”, creating timeless pieces that are created to live on in your wardrobe.
Another New Zealand fashion label we adore, Marle exclusively works with natural fabrics and fibres, and design with longevity in mind – the brand doesn’t work to seasonal collections, and all its creations are imagined as complementary, designed to be worn together or apart for years to come.
With such a coastal culture in Australia, it makes sense that some of the best Australian fashion designers specialise in swimwear. Named after a flower that blooms at the beginning of summer, Peony is another of the Australian fashion labels committed to sustainable practices, crafting 100 per cent of its swimwear collections from recycled materials.
Inspired by vintage fashion, Posse modernises classic silhouettes from the past, redefining them for the future. A slow fashion label, the brand releases small collections and often restocks based on demand. Their summer releases are a favourite, featuring timeless, considered pieces perfect for long, warm evenings.
Hansen & Gretel
Self-described as “femininity with bite”, Hansen & Gretel is one of the best Australian fashion designers of recent years. Best-selling silhouettes are reworked season on season, and the label is less concerned with trends and more interested in crafting uncomplicated, flattering designs using quality fabrics.
Bec + Bridge
The Australian fashion set’s go-to label for party dressing, Bec + Bridge has consistently delivered stylish, cool-girl fashion season on season. Since its origins, the label has evolved to include swimwear, activewear and bridal – it’s often the first stop for bridesmaid dressing thanks to complementary designs that cater to varying body types.
Launching only a few years ago at Australian Fashion Week, Beare Park has been a modern success story in fashion. Since its beginnings, the label has become a favourite of those in-the-know, and continues to impress with its limited runs and carefully crafted tailoring. All garments are crafted across Sydney and Melbourne, with materials sourced from France, Italy and Japan.
The national leader in the athleisure space, P.E Nation led the evolution of activewear-as-fashion, and continues to deliver stylish, functional pieces that look just as good in the office as they do at the gym.
Emma Mulholland On Holiday
Inspired by the kind of souvenirs you’d pick up in the 80s and 90s on vacation, Emma Mulholland On Holiday is joyous fashion at its best. Worn by the likes of Gigi Hadid and Camila Mendes, pieces are colourful, summery and will live on in your wardrobe.
“Venroy makes clothes to elevate everyday life through lighthearted escapism,” the Australian fashion label says on its website. Indeed, the brand continues to release wearable fashion that still feels elevated thanks to premium fabrics like organic cotton, silk, cashmere, and refined-yet-relaxed designs.
Viktoria & Woods
Founded in 2004, Viktoria & Woods remains a go-to label for wardrobe staples. The brand is known for its signature merino wool, a material that has been a core part of its designs since the beginning, and modern style that has a classic feel.