Another year has passed us by, and the road to Afterpay Australian Fashion Week 2022 is becoming clearer every day. The hub of Australian fashion that takes over Sydney's Carriageworks and off-site locations has always remained one of the industry's most joyful weeks – an event rooted in the celebration of the country's most iconic local designers and a platform for up and coming creatives to emerge and take centre stage. And today, IMG have given us our first taste of what's to come, with the announcement of the AAFW Next Gen winners for 2022.
For those unfamiliar with the program, Next Gen has provided an ongoing platform for emerging designers for almost 30 years; giving the four selected winners the opportunity to showcase their creative excellence on the runway at AAFW. Since its inception, the program has discovered, championed and helped launch the careers of some of the industry's most celebrated brands and designers, including Anna Quan, BEC + BRIDGE, CAMILLA AND MARC and sass & bide among others.
In 2022, all eyes are on ASIYAM, CLEA, Phoebe Pendergast and NOT A MAN'S DREAM. And they are certainly ones to watch. Speaking on the AAFW Next Gen 2022 winners, Natalie Xenita, Vice President-Managing Director of IMG Fashion Events & Properties Asia Pacific shared, “The 2022 winners have demonstrated talent not only in design, but in harnessing fashion’s power as a tool for communicating social and environmental messages that influence culture.”
Find out more about this year's AAFW Next Gen winners, below.
Founder and creative director Asia Hassan founded ASIYAM to challenge the norms of how women should dress, born from her frustration of not being able to find well-designed and accessible clothing with modest aesthetics. The label features intricate details and fabric manipulation, designed to be worn by any woman.
Designer Natasha Gordon founded CLEA in 2021, embracing an aesthetic that proposes a fresh balance of opposing elements – masculine and feminine, textural and clean, strength and softness, intricate and minimal. With meticulous attention to detail and carefully considered creation, each garment is designed with enduring elements and longevity at its core.
Phoebe Pendergast launched her eponymous label in 2019 after graduating from RMIT’s Fashion Design Honours program. Pendergast’s design process draws inspiration from personal memories and experiences she wants to relive, creating pieces that evoke a visceral response within the wearer.
Designer Samantha Saint James’ vision for her label is to defy fashion’s gendered archetypes. Saint James combines traditional fashion design with contemporary innovation, art and culture, to create luxury androgynous streetwear that empowers the wearer.
When will the 2022 Next Gen runway show take place?
The Next Gen runway show will take place on Friday, 13 May at 10am on the official AAFW schedule. To complement the runway show, a panel discussion featuring all four winners will follow on the same day at 4:30pm, as part of The Talks, AAFW’s ongoing series of culturally enriching conversations. Head to AAFW: The Experience to find out more.