Australian Fashion Week reveals four designers to watch

Afterpay Australian Fashion Week (AAFW) has announced the four winners of its emerging designer program, Next Gen.

IMG Fashion Events and Properties APAC MD Natalie Xenita confirmed the winners will debut their collections at AAFW on May 19.  

“This year’s winners are shaping the future of Australian fashion by pushing boundaries with their designs and sparking important conversation around sustainability, inclusivity and more. I’m very much looking forward to seeing each of them make their debut on the runway this May at AAFW.”

The Next Gen prize is valued at over $100,000 and includes runway show production, a content package including runway photography and global livestream, and international shipping credits provided by DHL.

The four winning designers also receive industry networking opportunities and exposure to AAFW’s attending buyers.

Established in 1996, Next Gen winners have included Akira, Anna Quan, Camilla and Marc, Bec and Bridge and Sass and Bide. 

The 2023 winners are: 

Cameron Hill: Founded in 2021, Cameron Hill’s eponymous brand draws on handmade textures and machine knitting, with knitwear-focused collections featuring knitted lacework and geometric patterning. 

Liandra Swim: Launched in 2018 by Liandra Gaykamangu, a Yolngu woman from North-East Arnhem land, the swimwear label is inspired by contemporary Aboriginal Australian culture and features signature prints. 

Ruby Pedder: Ruby Pedder debuted in 2021 with a proposition for “casual couture” that blends womenswear with wearable art. 

Xi Wu Studio: Designer Xizhu Wu founded Xi Wu Studio in 2021 to design clothes that blend Eastern and Western garment techniques. 

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