The lady-brains hosts are bringing their breakout podcast to AAFW!

In an Afterpay Australian Fashion Week (AAFW) first, lady-brains podcast hosts and self- described best friends, Caitlin Judd and Anna Mackenzie, will be podcasting their highly rated, must-listen, breakout business podcast live at AAFW 2021.

Ahead of their fashion week podcasting debut, IMG Fashion spoke to Caitlin and Anna over email about who inspires them, turning vision board dreams into reality, what to expect from their very first AAFW live podcast, and how they deal with pre-podcast nerves.

You're both successful women with a business podcast aimed at inspiring other female entrepreneurs — who inspires you and why?
“We have been incredibly fortunate over the last few years to interview some of the world’s best founders, and honestly most of them have inspired us and shaped the lady-brains business in some way.


If we had to pick a few... We’re inspired by Maeva Heim, the founder of [hair brand] Bread Beauty Supply and dear friend, who raised over $1 million from Imaginary Ventures and landed a deal with Sephora USA when her brand was just an idea — something that only a few founders have ever done.


We’re inspired by artist CJ Hendry, whose creativity and commitment to executing an idea is like none other we’ve ever seen. She doesn’t care about the status quo, nor about what people think of her. All she cares about is creating the best, most innovative and exciting work she can, and doing it with fun and integrity.

We’re inspired by Jodie Fox, the co-founder of Shoes of Prey, who showed incredible courage and strength during the collapse of her multimillion-dollar business — one that she’d spent most of her 20s and 30s building.

And we’re inspired daily by the women in our community building brands and businesses — the ones who are doing it all, doing it differently, doing the good days and the damn tough ones too. They are constantly trying to be better, have greater impact, and leave a positive mark on the world.”


What do you think it is about the lady-brains podcast that has resonated so much with audiences? 
“Our listeners are primarily people building brands, or those who have an entrepreneurial itch and want to build one sometime in the future. Because we come from business backgrounds ourselves — we're not journalists or from the media — we think this is why our show has built such a cult following. Our listeners often tell us that it’s like we’re in their heads, asking the very questions they’re thinking of at the time!


We do very comprehensive research and preparation before we enter the studio, and our goal is to have a raw and real business chat, asking hard-hitting questions and extracting as many lessons and insights from our guests as we can. The fact that we’re best friends and have a great connection and banter with each other also sets our show apart!


We take a lot of pride in the fact that when people discover our podcast, they binge the entire back catalogue of episodes in just a few days, Netflix style.”


When you did your very first episode of the podcast where did you envisage the podcast would go? Did you see yourselves live at AAFW?  
“When we started the podcast back in 2018, we had ambitions to become a nationally recognised podcast show and media brand but never expected our audience to grow so quickly. In the beginning, it was a side hustle for us and we’d traipse around Melbourne on weekends with our podcast recording kit, interviewing our founder friends like Erika Geraerts, founder of [beauty brand] Fluff, Sage Lamont and Tahli Watts, co-founders of Golden Grind, and serial entrepreneur Gretta van Riel.


It was only when we started receiving inbound requests for top talent like Megan Gale to be featured, and when we were picked up by Southern Cross Austereo after only one season, that we realised we were onto something.


Just a few short years later we’re working with an incredible team at IMG and Afterpay to produce the live podcasts at AAFW, and it is a dream come true for our brand! In fact, hosting a podcast at Australian fashion week has been on our vision board for the last few years, no joke. For us, this partnership is a manifestation of years of grind and hard work, focus, and a sign from the universe that we’re on the right track. We couldn’t be more excited!”


What are you most looking forward to about being part of AAFW? 
“All of it! As a fashion and lifestyle-led media brand, being involved in AAFW is the pinnacle! We can’t wait to interview all... the incredible business owners involved in the fashion industry, from fashion designers like Rebecca Vallance, to the creators of platforms like Australian Indigenous Fashion, to makeup artists and stylists.

Not only will we be doing some great live shows, but we’ll be on the ground interviewing lots of incredible people vox pop style, and we can’t wait to hear their stories and experience the action first-hand.”


Do you ever suffer from pre-podcast nerves and if you do, how do you manage it? 
“Great question! We’ve been hosting the podcast for over 2 years now, and during that time we’ve had a lot of nerve-wracking firsts — the first time we ever recorded a podcast interview with the founder of Golden Grind, the first time we set foot in the Southern Cross Austereo studios and realised we’d be recording in the same space as Hamish and Andy, the first time we flew up to Sydney to interview international talent, NY-based author Cleo Wade, and the first time we recorded a podcast interview in New York with incredible founder and fashion influencer Babba Rivera. Over the years we’ve experienced a lot of firsts and therefore a lot of nerves!

Now, when we record a podcast in a normal studio setting, we don’t really experience any nerves, however given we’ve never recorded on stage at fashion week before we definitely anticipate they’ll reappear!


Whenever we’re doing something for the first time, like our live pod at AAFW, we use Brené Brown’s framework ‘FFT’ (aka. f*cking first time), which reminds us that whenever we do something for the first time it’s going to be hard, it’s probably not going to be perfect, and we may just make mistakes... and that’s okay. Taking the pressure off and knowing that in doing something for the first time we’re putting ourselves outside of our comfort zone, growing as people, and pushing the business forward, takes some of the anxiety away. Also, wine helps ;-).”


Sign up to the lady-brains newsletter at and discover the show here, or by searching lady-brains on Apple podcasts or Spotify.

Join Anna Mackenzie and Caitlin Judd for their live podcast episode of lady-brains at AAFW 2021. Lady-brains live at AAFW will be held at 2.30pm on Monday, May 31, 2021 at Carriageworks, Sydney, buy tickets, here. For runway shows and more AAFW special events, find tickets here.