My fave female-led Aussie brands


Wearing one of my fave labels, Manning Cartell

On International Women’s Day, I can’t think of a better time to highlight some of the incredible female-led, homegrown brands that are seriously taking fashion in Australia in such an innovative, inspiring direction.

My everyday wardrobe, those pieces that I wear non-stop are largely comprised of these following Aussie brands, whose vision, success and direction is entirely steered by women. And as someone who works in fashion, I am all about championing local talent, but I’m even more proud to do it when it helps  women in the industry to truly shine. These are just some of the brands that feature heavily in my wardrobe rotation.

Most of the dresses that I wear throughout the year are by Steele. The label, founded by Melbournian Jessica Reid, is all about effortless pieces, while playing with silhouettes and textiles that make each piece something that makes a statement, and is a whole lot of fun to wear. I’ve lost count of how many Steele dresses I own, such is my love of them.

Zimmermann is without a doubt one of the biggest and most talked about brands in fashion today. I’ve been a longtime fan, but it has been great to see Nicky and Simone Zimmermann take their small local label and turn it into the global juggernaut it is now. The designs, colours, textures and fabrics are always sublime. Each piece is a true work of art.

Manning Cartell was founded by sisters Cheryl, Vanessa and Gabrielle Manning, and their label has grown to be many a woman’s go-to. I love how they managed to do polished pieces with a hefty does of personality. I’ve long loved their dresses, and keep coming back to this brand time and time again because they do such beautiful pieces that really speak to women.

I’ve been wearing Bec and Bridge pretty much since its inception. Founded by friends Becky Cooper and Bridget Yorston who met while studying fashion at university, the brand continues to deliver season after season the kind of cuts, styles and prints that women not only want to wear, but love to wear. Without a doubt, I will always fall in love with several pieces in every collection, which is a testament to how the label knows its audience inside and out.

Viktoria and Woods is one of those brands that has slowly made a home in my wardrobe because I just can’t resist its simple, classic and sophisticated aesthetic. From jeans to coats and shirts, the label founded by Margie Woods in 2004, does tailored and polished separates that are designed to be worn over and over again. With my ongoing aim to have more versatility in my wardrobe, this is one brand that truly delivers on that front.

Acler was founded by Kathryn Forth and Julia Ritorto in 2015 and they haven’t looked back since. The brand’s name is an anagram of ‘clear’ which is entirely fitting as the brand’s vision is precisely that: it’s all about pieces that are elevated, with a high end feel. I’m loving the fact that the brand makes aspirational clothing, a little more accessible. 

What are some of your fave female-led designers?