Footwear is a funny thing in Australian culture. Never a necessity unless absolute - like when you're trudging through bushlands or singing your soles on scorching bitumen - the idea of footwear feels like a secondary addition to an outfit. That is, in Sydney at least. While Australian's certainly enjoy the premise of a good shoe, it's never exactly matched Carrie Bradshaw's fervour towards the matter. An idea that hasn't stopped Australian footwear designers from coming up with some of the most considered shoes in the industry, to our delight.
Whether you're barefoot whatever the weather, or plan your looks from the toe up, we're rounding up our favourite Australian footwear designers, from the best sandals via Maria Farrow and St Agni to the perfect going out shoe c/o Christopher Esber and LMS, below.
Nelson Made was born as a brand built on a foundation of transparency, sustainability and ethical manufacturing after feeling as though there was a gap in the market for this kind of demand. Iterated in soft, minimal silhouettes of flat sandals and kitten heels, Nelson Made is the forever shoe for the less is more wearer.
Founded in the coastal town of Byron Bay, by Lara & Matt Fells, St. Agni was always footwear first. Evolving into a luxury lifestyle brand, built from humble beginnings. Functional, refined, quality pieces are the name of the game, rooted in the sentiment of wearing over again.
Not strictly a footwear brand, but at this point, you'd be strapped to find anything Esber's eponymous label can't successfully execute. Excelling in the evening wear category, they are the shoes that make you feel your sexiest - a wherever, whenever sort of incling.
While R.M Williams offers ready-to-wear garments, the heart of the brand is in its boot, and what a boot it is. An expansive offering of almost any kind of ankle boot one could want, expertly crafted with a famous one-piece leather soles, a pair of R.M's will last a lifetime.
The flat sandals of everyone's dreams. There is little not to love about A.Emery's streamlined silhouettes and minimal approach to flat footwear. Lots of flat, foot-hugging straps in different iterations secure the foot to the minimal sole to leave you feeling in touch with the earth beneath.
The 90s and 00s label most people are coveting right now. With firm roots in the fundamental values of craftsmanship and using responsibly sourced materials, By FAR prioritizes no compromise on quality, finish or design, offering an endless evolution of silhouettes that come back into style time and time again.
Founded between London and Sydney, Studio Amelia has been one to watch since its launch in May 2019. Thoughtful, minimal footwear that transcends moments in time for quality and versatility one can always rely on, not to mention being incredibly elegant.
Founded on simple aesthetic principles, Maria Farro combines the designer's roots in Bondi Beach with the vastness of Greek culture to create a sandal brand that leans into a less is more approach with each sandal made out of 100% leather and handmade in Chania, Crete.
Another not exclusive footwear brand, but ignoring Dion Lee's affinity for good footwear would be an oversight, to say the least. Crafted as an extension of his eponymous ready-to-wear offering, Lee blends sturdy leather with industrialized silhouettes to complete any outfit.
While Bassike is known best for its ready-to-wear Jersey and precision tailoring, the brand's extensive shoe offering is equally as covetable. Offering a wide range of comfort-first flats, we never met a Bassike sandal we didn't like.
On-trend silhouettes offered at an accessible price point is what makes Alias Mae a constant in many of our wardrobes. From a perfect stompy boot to a strappy kitten heel (the kinds reserved for all the nights out), Alias Mae seems to nail it each time.
ESSEN was founded in 2016 as a response to "a fashion cycle that overproduces more than it carefully crafts, chases trends more than it determines classics, and wastes more than it sustains." By encouraging people to buy less, choose better and wear longer, the brand aspires to simplify women’s wardrobes, by helping them consider what they really need and edit out excess. That’s where the name comes from – essentials.
LMS is a statement shoe and handbag brand known for their timeless silhouettes, transformed by unconventional materials and colour combinations. Founded by Lisa Mandy Seskin, the brand hails from Sydney, Australia, and aims to be a meeting point between sophistication and playfulness.