DISCOVER AUSTRALIA’S NEXT GENERATION OF TALENT
Established in 1996 with the goal of identifying Australia's emerging designers, Afterpay Australian Fashion Week's Next Gen program has helped discover and launch the careers of Camilla and Marc, Kate Sylvester, Gorman, sass and bide and Akira.
Each year's winners selected for the Next Gen prize are provided invaluable marketing, publicity and social media coverage to reach a global audience, and industry-networking opportunities.
Get to know this year's winners:
Aaizél: Minhee Jo has a unique approach to fashion, converging the influences of romantic and detailed European Art and traditional East Asian clothing construction. With a strong focus on structured silhouettes and undone styling, sharpened with a contemporary edge. All Aaizél collections are designed and produced in Melbourne.
Erik-Yvon: Erik Yvon is a Melbourne-based fashion designer, specialising in men's and women's wear drawing inspiration from his origins in Mauritius. Erik has found success in national design competitions such as The Wool Awards and the Australian Fashion Awards, and gained experience within the Australian fashion industry with Romance Was Born and Neo Dia.
Outfaced: Megan Taylor is a recent graduate from a Bachelor of Design (Fashion) at Whitehouse Institute of Design, Melbourne. During her time at Whitehouse Megan was selected as a finalist for the Student Award at Melbourne Fashion Week 2019. She went on to secure the Student of the Year award at the Whitehouse Institute Graduate showcase in December of 2019.
Replica Project: Prior to undertaking a Master of Fashion (Design) at RMIT University Australia, Amanda Nicols worked as a costume cutter and maker with film credits including Baz Luhrmann's ‘Australia' and ‘The Great Gatsby' and Ridley Scott's ‘Alien: Covenant'. Nichols is also a recipient of the Winston Churchill Fellowship.
To complement the Next Gen runway show, a panel discussion will be held on Thursday 3 June at 6pm, as part of AAFW's ongoing series of culturally-enriching conversations, AAFW: The Talks. Australian fashion's next generation of designers will share the challenges and opportunities of working during the pandemic, and where they see the future of our industry. Buy tickets.
Next Gen, Afterpay Australian Fashion Week's Emerging Designer Program, is proudly presented by DHL.
AAFW HAS ACCUMULATED AN EXTENSIVE LIST OF NEXTGEN ALUMNI WITH SOME OF AUSTRALIA'S BIGGEST DESIGNERS EMERGING FROM THE PROGRAM. TAKE A TRIP DOWN MEMORY LANE AS WE REVEAL WHICH TALENT GOT THEIR BIG BREAK FROM ONE OF AAFW's MOST EXCITING RUNWAYS.
1996 – Akira Isogawa
One of Australia's most celebrated designers, Akira Isogowa has achieved international recognition for his exquisite contemporary designs. Following his success at MBFWA, Akira began showcasing his designs to international buyers in Paris just two years after debuting his first collection in 1996.
1998 – Kate Sylvester
A beloved designer in both Australia and New Zealand, Kate Sylvester launched her first ever collection at MBFWA as part of NextGen in 1998. Kate Sylvester's designs continue to strike the perfect balance between masculinity and femininity. Styling bohemian-inspired prints in floaty silhouettes with clean tailoring, she prides herself on her modern use of colour, cut and exclusive in-house prints.
1998 – Karen Walker
One of New Zealand's most widely acclaimed exports, Karen Walker is a global name renowned for her eccentrically elegant style and ready-to-wear, eyewear, jewellery and bags. In 1998 Karen Walker made her runway debut as part of MBFWA's NextGen picking up immediate orders from international retailers. Adele, Lorde, Rihanna, Gigi Hadid, Michelle Obama and Lady Gaga are among a long list of celebs spotted in her bold designs.
2001 – Gorman
You would be hard pressed to find an Australian woman who has never owned an item from Gorman. Lisa Gorman's eccentric patterns pervade Sydney and Melbourne's most fashionable streets and nearly 20 years after launching her eponymous label, she now has 40 stores across Australia. To this day Lisa and her team are forever proud to dress those who dare to be themselves.
2001 – Sass and Bide
For almost two decades, sass & bide has been at the forefront of women's designer fashion. Established in 1999 by best friends Sarah-Jane Clarke and Heidi Middleton, sass & bide continue to execute their distinctive creative vision evolving from an underground phenomenon to a cult label of international fame.
2001 - Ksubi
If you weren't rocking a pair of Ksubi jeans in the early noughties then did you even exist? Emerging in 1999, Ksubi have built a significant presence and cult following globally. The brand has been seen on every A-list celebrity with attitude, from A$AP Rocky to Kylie Jenner, Ruby Rose and The Internet. Shedding its adolescent image to become an established label with a distinct identity, Ksubi has evolved into one of the most respected Australian fashion brands of today.
2014 – Anna Quan
Founded by Australian designer Anna Hoang, a 2011 graduate of the Sydney Institute of Technology, Anna Quan presented her first collection at MBFWA in 2014 as part of NextGen. The year after she debuted her SS15 collection and has since gone on to dress celebrities such as Kendall Jenner and Karlie Kloss. Anna's focus on subtle details makes every garment unique, whether it be well executed fit, perfectly placed pockets, faultless lining or exaggerated sleeves.