What started out a simple love for Australian style, challenged by a lack of access to Australian designer labels in the region, ended up flourishing into a fully fledged mission to catapult our Australian style influence across the Middle East.
Back in 2010 there was very limited access to our homegrown brands in the UAE, other than a tiny boutique called Tigerlily, located in WAFI mall (not to be confused with the Australian swim brand). Tigerlily miraculously stocked Sass & Bide, Kit Willow and also a few Nicola Finetti pieces at the time. Although the selection was very limited, the purchasing pattern was impressive, meaning it was a well kept secret among the Australian expats.
It was not until 2012 that the appreciation for these designer labels really evolved into a business idea when during a virtual shop, founder Ivana Bruic decided it was time to import the Australian brands on a more tangible level. From then on, a lot of time was invested into analysing the buying patterns of our retail sector and throughout this we learnt that Australian designers were literally left undiscovered by the global market (unless showing in Paris, New York, London or Milan).
This was a very important turning point as a niche market was identified and Austyle was born.
Our vision is to nurture emerging Australian brands by boosting their popularity and demand abroad. We have seen such success with few brands and it’s time we take a global stance with our talent. Take Ellery for example, one of only three Australian labels to show at Paris fashion week in the last 20 years. An abundance of talent is being completely overlooked by global buyers for this very reason. The fashion crisis in Australia has also seen some of our favourite labels, such as Bettina Liano, Tsubi/Ksubi and Kit Willow fold. The bubble has burst for our fashion scene and the recent influx of high street stores in Australia have put the poisonous berry on the cake for our homegrown brands.
With all this said, we are at our epitome of brilliance. Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Australia 2014 proved an incredible line up on not just designers, but a guest list of bloggers, models and presenters. Personalities with a social media presence and fan base of hundreds of thousands around the world. Not only do they look fabulous in all of their Instagram-filter glory, they look just as impeccable in real life. These Australian fashion icons radiate a flawless, unpretentious and impeccable glow about them. You cannot help but mesmerised by the most beautiful people, unique ensembles and standout accessories seen condensed into one area.
Australian fashion is not influenced by the rest of the world. We stand alone. And we do it very well.