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25 Fashion Brands Founded By Powerhouse Australian Women You May Not Know About

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There’s no denying we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to Australian brands. From Kendall Jenner in Bec and Bridge to Bella Hadid in Camilla and Marc and Blake Lively in Zimmermann, right down to Kylie Jenner’s obsession with VALÉRE jewellery too—celebrities have long sung the praises of Australian founded labels. 

Below—in no particular order—we’ve listed some of the most successful and cult Australian fashion labels which were founded by powerhouse Aussie women, many of which are probably sitting pretty in your wardrobe already.

NAGNATA

Founded by Laura May.

Founded by Australian fashion designer, stylist and creative director Laura May, and later joined by her sister Hannah, a textile artist and photographer, NAGNATA is a premium fashion and lifestyle brand designed for modern movement and studio-to-street style. The collections incorporate high-end fashion constructions with contemporary sportswear appeal, offering an unconventional concept to the fashion, lifestyle and activewear markets.

Midnight Mischief 

Founded by Tess Nguyen. 

Tess Nguyen was scrolling through GumTree when she found a business for sale. That business was Midnight Mischief. Since 2018 Tess has grown the brand through social media exposure, new products and gaining media attention. Her passion for self-care has been sparked by her background and career as a physiotherapist which she does alongside Midnight Mischief. The ethos around the brand is to provide comfortable, luxurious pyjamas with fun personalisation. 

P.E. NATION

Founded by Pip Edwards and Claire Tregoning.

“P.E NATION is for ALL women, ALL Day, EVERY day.” The brand reflects a sense of strength, both in design and lifestyle. From practical sportswear to everyday basics, the label has quickly reached cult status. The brand also just released their first collaboration with H&M, making them the first Australian brand to ever do so. 

Matteau

Founded by Peta Heinsen and Ilona Hamer

After noticing it was near impossible to find simple yet sophisticated swimwear, Australian sisters Peta Heinsen and Ilona Hamer realised a gap in the market and set out to create just that. Launched in 2015, Matteau quickly became a favourite within the fashion industry, before the world, including celebrities Phoebe Tonkin and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, took note. In 2018, they expanded into resort wear and hosted their first fashion show as part of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia this month.

Prene Bags

Founded by Tammy Green.

Tammy’s vision for a simple design with quality neoprene material has created a fashion statement. Tammy created the first prototype which her mum carried out to dinner. After receiving many compliments during her night out Tammy knew she was on to something big. Prene Bags provides a fashionable, washable, vegan-friendly, easy to use accessory that gives women an easy fashionable option for their everyday bag. Tammy now 24 has a multimillion-dollar business who launched in David Jones Jan 2020. 

A.Emery

Founded by Anna McLaren.

Instagram’s buzziest new shoe brand, A.Emery, is perfect for the pared-back minimalists among us. Can’t afford The Row’s strappy sandal? This local brand has you covered, with a slew of must-have summer pieces that are straight out of a street style dream. Plus, with quality leathers handcrafted in India, these slides, straps and soles are made with love.

Joslin

Founded by Elinor Joslin. 

Founded in Melbourne in 2018, this cool-girl linen label is all about voluminous silhouettes and textured takes on the classic fabric. Whether you’re after a fresh miniskirt or something perfect for the office, the small but classic range will be able to help with both.

Peony

Founded by Rebecca Morton.

Everyone from Bella Hadid to Bambi Northwood-Blyth are obsessed with Aussie boutique label, Peony – and for good reason. The brand walks the perfect line between trend and timeless, meaning anything you buy will look incredible on the ‘gram grid, but also last the distance and won’t go out of style.

Jackie Mack Designs

Founded by Jackie Damelian

The brand celebrates an immaculately executed relaunch and has grown into a contemporary, effortlessly chic, design-led brand that embodies the modern woman.

Realisation Par

Founded by Alexandra Spencer and Teale Talbot.

You’d be forgiven for thinking cult-label Realisation Par was born in America. But, in actual fact, designers Alexandra Spencer and Teale Talbot started the brand in Melbourne, before it quickly gained a huge international following for its wrap dresses, cute floral prints, and, more recently, the leopard print skirt they can’t keep in stock. With 408k followers on Instagram and celebrities such as Kaia Gerber, Bella Hadid and Alexa Chung, it’s no wonder stock is always flying off the shelves.

Spell Byron Bay

Isabella Pennefather and Elizabeth Abegg.

Every boho girl’s dream label Spell Byron Bay was started by sisters Isabella Pennefather and Elizabeth Abegg after Isabella (nicknamed Spell) started selling hand-crafted jewellery at Byron Bay’s local artisan markets. The label quickly grew a cult following (927k on Instagram alone) and counts celebrities such as Alessandra Ambrosio and Vanessa Hudgens as fans.

Toni May 

Founded by Laura Byrne. 

Jewellery label Toni May is the brainchild of Bachelor star Laura Byrne. Inspired by her lust for travel Laura procures gemstones from all over the world to create her unique line of modern bohemian accessories. Based out of her new studio in Sydney’s Surry Hills, Laura’s unique design aesthetic is synonymous with a wanderlust spirit. The creations offer soulful designs that incorporate semiprecious stones and luxe sterling silver.

The Upside

Founded by Jodhi Meares. 

Living between New York and Hawaii and practising yoga daily, THE UPSIDE’s Founder Jodhi Meares identified a gap in the market for activewear informed by fashion. THE UPSIDE’s early ethos laid in establishing a bold brand that catered to sartorially sophisticated and time savvy individuals who led demanding lives but cherished their training. Now 4 years old, the Sydney based brand has earned its place as one of the top activewear labels in the global market without abandoning functionality or premium style.

La Beach & Une Piece

Founded by Carly Brown. 

Starting UNE PIECE in 2016, Carly Brown has been the pioneer of the sun-conscious space. In 2019 Carly then launched her second business devoted to her sun-conscious customers La Beach, a self-tanning brand and one you need in your life. Carly knows how to create a sell-out product when she launched her signature “Sexy Rachie” swimwear line UNE PIECE she had over 500 women join her waitlist. La Beach was picked up by David Jones in 10 short weeks PLUS in its first 24 hours sold every 46 mins.

Shevoke

Founded by Lisa Hyde.

Founded in the coastal city of Sydney in 2014, by designer Lisa Hyde. Shevoke is a premium, high fashion sunglass label that has quickly become a favourite of celebrities and fashion influencers around the world.The brand creates design-led sunglasses for the effortless minimalist, anchored in earthly tones with a dash of seasonal colour.

Brie Leon

Founded by Janine Zafra.

Fusing artistry and practicality with influences from her own sense of style, Janine Zafra is the designer behind Brie Leon. Founded in 2014 and based in Sydney, the Brie Leon collections are filled with opulent time-enduring designs guaranteed to be treasured by its wearer. Esteemed for her intricately crafted jewellery that is at once beautiful and functional, Zafra has recently expanded her creative field to design unique, staple bags.

Nancy Ganz

Founded by Nancy Ganz. 

In the 1990s, Nancy Ganz revolutionised the intimate apparel industry with the introduction of the “Hip Slip”. Since then, the label has championed the Australian lingerie field to create shapewear that smooths and sculpts the body, with a range that also includes body-shaping swimwear. A must for any Aussie woman’s wardrobe. 

https://www.instagram.com/p/CLJFMThDUaS/

Babyanything 

Founded by Lucie Ferguson. 

Created by one of the incredibly talented Ferguson sisters, Babyanything has become a much-loved and adored homegrown label. Babyanything was created by jewellery designer Lucie Ferguson (the sister of Aussie influencer Elle Ferguson), with each piece made and designed in Sydney, Australia. Handcrafted from precious metals, Lucie creates anything from bulky biker skulls to dainty keepsake heart rings. 

F+H Jewellery

Founded by Sharona Harris.

Australian jewellery label F+H has been seen on some of the world’s leading ladies, from Lara Worthington to Margot Robbie. Sharona Harris has built the now cult brand from the ground up, using her PR savvy and clear talent to create jewellery for the edgy, yet feminine, woman.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CLiyu04Mxa-/

Holly Ryan

Founded by Holly Ryan. 

Holly Ryan, since founding her eponymous jewellery line in 2011, has developed a signature style of organic-minimalist and sculptural forms driven by art. With an unconventional approach, Holly uses traditional hand construction of individual pieces and also utilises the ancient tradition of wax casting, sculpting her shapes from wax, before casting to recycled metals and finishing each piece by hand. The resulting objects are modern heirlooms, designed for every day.

VALÉRE Jewellery

Founded by Samantha Lowe.

The literal meaning of the word VALÉRE is to be of worth, which perfectly reflects this Aussie brands ethos – to create luxurious jewellery using the finest materials, precious gems and exceptional finishes to create one-of-a-kind jewellery. 

Rose and Bare

Founded by Natalie Roser. 

When it comes to nude underwear, oftentimes it’s boring, uncomfortable and unflattering, but new Australian label Rose and Bare was created to be the exact opposite, giving women support and lift in all the right places while being your go-to to wear underneath literally anything. Sign us up.

YCL JEWELS

Founded by Fabienne Costa.

Founded by creative director Fabienne, YCL Jewels pieces are inspired by the art in every day. Italo-Australian, Gold Coast-based founder Fabienne is a self-taught artisanal jeweller and designer with over 13 years experience. Fabienne was named one of Business News Australia’s top Entrepreneurs on the Gold Coast under 40. Her signature style is recognisable through her minimal, feminine designs. 

State of Escape

Founded by Brigitte MacGowan and Desley Maidment.

After noticing a gap in the market in 2012, Brigitte and Desley founded State of Escape. The brand is driven by an appreciation for sophisticated simplicity which has continued to be their focus as they’ve expanded the product range. The now-iconic neoprene bags have quickly become a staple for Australian women. 

S/W/F Boutique 

Founded by Desiree Deravi. 

S/W/F Boutique is the brainchild of designer Desiree Deravi, who’s signature flowing fabrics in natural fibres, as well as bold colours and eclectic prints, has made it a local favourite. Classic shapes and silhouettes draw inspiration from the iconic fashions of the past eras, skilfully infused with a modern twist and cutting edge cool to be current yet timeless. The brand is also praised for its commitment to sustainability during the entire manufacturing process, with the brand’s ethos pledging to concentrate on the value of local production, reducing waste and minimising their impact on the environment, with each piece carefully handmade to order. 

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