Backstage at Wynn Hamlyn Resort 2024. Photography: Rob Tennent.

WHO IS THE AUSTRALIAN MAN and how does he dress? Years ago, this question had a straightforward answer. Tanned and rugged, he probably wore Billabong boardies or Blundstone boots. The way we’re portrayed in popular culture played no small part in crafting this illusion of the stoic Aussie man. But while somewhat reductive, it wasn’t miles from the truth.

Today, there’s no such thing as a stereotypical Aussie guy, which means there’s no one definition for men’s fashion in Australia. Modern Australia is a multicultural society, full of vibrant subcultures and identities—from skaters to club kids and the corporate crowd—and every circle has its own sense of style. You could say men’s style in Australia is defined by its diversity, rather than its conformity, which is a very cool thing.

It’s no surprise, then, that the most exciting brands in Australia right now have vastly different identities. Some started out by creating clothes for their communities—like Western Sydney-based outfit Geedup—or by developing a product they couldn’t find anywhere else—such as Man-tle, the Tokyo-born, Perth-based brand with a cult following built on its heavyweight shirts.

When writing this list of brands that excite us, it’s this sense of zeitgeist-driving difference we wanted to capture. Because while everyone in your inner circle might be going through the same aesthetic phase, the guys at the next table are probably wearing something entirely different. If they have excellent taste and their ear to the ground, they might even be wearing one of the following brands.

Photography: Rob Tennent

/ Wynn Hamlyn

Ahead of New Zealand Fashion Week in 2016, Wynn Crawshaw—then a little known designer—said that in five years, he saw his brand Wynn Hamlyn as “being truly international”. It was around that five-year mark that the designer introduced his men’s line. Today, his signature netted macramé designs are beloved by international fashion editors, while his collections are stocked by the world’s coolest fashion retailers, Assembly New York and LN-CC in London among them. Needless to say, the Auckland-born designer has cracked the world stage.

Crawshaw initially studied land surveying at university, and spent time working in the civil construction sector. While he may have moved on from his STEM-focused career, elements of construction continue to mark his collections. His latest Autumn 2023 collection toyed with a jigsaw motif, fusing languid tailoring with a youthful, experimental spirit that manifested in deconstructed knits and t-shirts layered skater-style.

But where the brand has really succeeded, is in its ability to craft collections that are equal parts wearable and avant-garde. While many guys will gravitate towards Wynn Hamlyn’s faded jeans and tees, a double-breasted blazer in bright teal is designed for the more daring—all made using ethically sourced materials.

While based in New Zealand, the brand’s loyal Aussie following warranted its inclusion here. A success story built on transparency, an unconventional start and an innate sense of knowing what people want to wear now.


Photography: Kristopher Molina

/ Geedup

Sydney garages are something of a breeding ground for creative talent. There are the rock bands—Midnight Oil began practising in guitarist Jim Moginie’s garage on the Northern Beaches—and then there are the fashion brands. Among them is Geedup, which formed in a Western Sydney garage in 2010. In the words of general manager Trevene Patrick Keuneman, Geedup is built around the following tenets: “to express our love for music, art and culture and make our mark.”

And it did just that. The brand reportedly made $2.9 million on its last drop, which sold out in six hours. It’s also exploded globally, boasting offices in LA, London and a home base in Sydney. Retailers in Sydney markets are selling bootleg versions of its spraypainted ‘handstyle’ tees, while two of the biggest rappers in Britain right now, Headie One and Rv, are part of Geedup’s inner circle, regularly seen repping the brand online. Geedup has also succeeded in maintaining an air of mystique around its drops. On Instagram, the brand posts photos of team members dressed in balaclavas jumping out of vans, vigilante style. It’s no wonder the kids are obsessed.

Ultimately, Geedup is trying to reimagine what streetwear means in Australia, and what Australian streetwear means to the world. With an offering packed with varsity jackets, hoodies, cargo pants, duffles and hats, all embossed with large ‘Gs’ and the brand’s emblem, it would be easy to think Geedup is just a clothing brand. It’s not. “It’s a collective,” Keuneman explains, “for those who have taken the road less travelled, or better yet, those who are carving their own path unapologetically.”


Photography: Daniel Temesgen

/ One of One

Noah Johnson is one of the most stylish Australian men on TikTok—his account, @oneofonearchive, has close to 200k followers. But he’s not posting videos of himself dripping in #gifted pieces or flexing the next ephemeral trend. Instead, Tasmanian-born Johnson models his own inimitable designs, all hand-crafted from upcycled vintage materials.

It started as a teenage hobby during the summer break between years 10 and 11, when Johnson began slicing up old clothes and piecing them back together, posting progress images to Instagram. “It began as a fun, second-thought thing,” he recalls. Each piece was a one-off, and so he named his account One of One Archive, the name of his brand today.

All of Johnson’s creations are still one of one, crafted from found fabrics, upcycled into unique patchwork creations and wearable art pieces. “I highly value all fabrics I find and try to add to the story of the fabrics, instead of taking away from it.”

While TikTok’s upcycling craze has shone a fortuitous light on his genius, One of One is gaining traction offline, too. Earlier this year, Johnson collaborated with Tourism Tasmania on a project called ‘Off Cuts’, an eco- friendly winter collection crafted from fragments of retro tourist shirts.

But Johnson’s inspiration expands beyond the material, too: “I am a Black designer, so that definitely influences my decisions conceptually and visually.”

At the same time, he’s not out there seeking recognition. “I think it’ll happen eventually [with] a more widespread audience but again, I don’t feel like I’m in a rush—I’m only 22.”


/ Kloke

“We value design and function equally,” says Amy Gallagher of Kloke, the label she started with partner Adam Coombes in 2011. “Every collection is thoughtful, refined and supremely wearable.”

Not only do we second the wearable point; we’d go as far as emphasising it. It’s not easy to create menswear that’s cool and directional while also speaking to the everyday Australian guy, yet Kloke’s perfectly cut jeans, camp collar shirts and quilted jackets have found an audience of men who like to dress tastefully without shouting about it. Probably, this is because Melbourne-based Gallagher and Coombes are inspired by the people and world around them. And while cinema, music, myth and craft play into Kloke’s designs, Gallagher says she’s “mindful that the conceptual component is fairly subtle… We often keep that concept element close because we love when people bring their own style to what we’ve created. That’s often the special part for us.”

Gallagher and Coombes’ shared vision for durability and practicality manifests in fluid designs that balance crisp tailoring with the hallmarks of Australian casualwear, which means that among the more classic pieces, you can expect a nostalgic, kitschy print or two.

The back end of this year will see Kloke expand both at home and further abroad. Its new store on Melbourne’s Little Collins street has just opened, and this month, the duo will hold their first showroom during New York Fashion Week. Given the Big Apple’s fondness of Australian brands—not to mention the Downtown set’s penchant for a workman’s jacket—we’re confident it will be a hit.


/ Man-tle

Husband and wife duo Larz Harry and Aida Kim met while working for Comme des Garçons in Tokyo. Based on that fact alone, a joint fashion venture was destined for success. In 2015, the pair started Man-tle while living in Japan, with the desire to perfect a single product: a loose-fitting heavyweight shirt that would age and soften with wear. This became Shirt-1. Today, Man-tle is based in Australia, with the couple setting up their studio and storefront in Perth.

“We approach clothing as products, developing each garment one by one, with the integrity and resolution for it to stand singularly,” explains Harry. “The narrative is really around these individual items, their fabric and hardware set against our landscape, here in Western Australia.”

The latest collection, R15 (Range-15) exists as a continuation of Harry and Kim’s ongoing exploration into ‘heavyweight clothing’, a genre of menswear that has its own dedicated following of guys who appreciate hard-wearing workwear that demands to be worn in. A dialogue with the site of Harry and Kim’s meeting continues, too. R15 features Man-tle’s signature paraffin-wax-coated cotton chambray, made by a fourth- generation cotton mill in Shizuoka, Japan, as well as hand knitted garments created by Tohoku Crochet, a community- based initiative that employs craftspeople in the region devastated by the tsunami that swept through the area in 2011.

At a time when the menswear discourse is focused on full ‘fits’, Man-tle’s appreciation of high-quality pieces that hold their own feels like a striking point of difference, and a blending of its Japanese origins and local climate. In Harry’s own words, the outcome is a proposition that is “highly wearable; unique and innately Australian”.


Photography: Jack Ferguson

/ Jungles Jungles

A sense of “modern escapism” is built into the DNA of Jungles Jungles, an emerging Melbourne fashion brand run by designer Jack Ferguson. Riffing on ’60s counterculture—in both philosophy and aesthetic direction—its guiding ethos strikes a chord with the current state of things: “It’s the tendency to seek distraction from unpleasant realities,” offers the designer.

This pursuit of the unconventional means Jungles Jungles is a brand that refuses to be boxed in, which is true to Ferguson’s free-spirited vision. “[The brand] always has been an outlet for my own ideas,” explains Ferguson.. “These ideas change from season to season. I never wanted it to be about one thing.”

With each new drop, its colours, fabrics and silhouettes evolve, while continuing to exist within the brand’s psychedelic universe. Since launching in 2016, the brand has gone from strength to strength, as collections characterised by printed souvenir T-shirts have grown to span functional outerwear, fleeces and accessories—its recent collaboration with LA eyewear brand Akila is, well, a killer. And while word of Jungles Jungles is spreading on home soil, its fan base ultimately began in North America, thanks to a few tapped-in surf and skate retailers from Portland to New York, which supported the brand early on.

The title of its fall-winter ’23 collection, ‘I tried to sell my soul, but the line was too long’, is in reference to a phrase Ferguson found on the back of a The Brian Jonestown Massacre album cover: “I think it’s a funny phrase that comments on the general tendency most people have to progress themselves, no matter the cost.” The collection—which follows a drop created in collaboration with ARTESTAR and The Keith Haring Foundation— is, in keeping with the brand’s roots, graphic-heavy.

If the Jungles Jungles universe is what the great escape looks like, we’re ready and willing to join. It seems a legion of loyal followers across the world are, too.


Photography: Joshua Gordon

/ Perks and Mini

In the world of streetwear, Perks and Mini might be considered something of a veteran—the outfit was formed in 2000, by partners in work and life Misha Hollenbach and Shauna Toohey. But throughout its 23 years, P.A.M. has remained at the vanguard of youth culture, nightlife, and, of course, fashion. It continues to throw parties with the likes of Boiler Room while dropping covetable collaborations with brands from Issey Miyake’s Pleats Please and Australian cycling apparel phenomenon MAAP. It makes sense that Hollenbach and Toohey refer to Melbourne-born P.A.M. as a platform for creative ideas and self-expression, rather than a fashion brand that adheres to conventional seasons and advertising. Today, P.A.M.’s graffiti-inspired streetwear, drip-look jewellery and penchant for a visible stitch and graphic knit makes it instantly recognisable. But in recent years, it’s also become a big supporter of other independent fashion brands; P.A.M. stores in Melbourne, Sydney and Tokyo stock a range of international designers,

from Heaven, Marc Jacobs’ insanely popular Gen-Z line to cult Berlin brand Ottolinger. Given its ethos of unfiltered self-expression, no idea is too zany for the brand. Case in point: P.A.M.’s latest collaboration with Japanese label Hysteric Glamour, which spans graphic t-shirts, “hot pants made from repurposed socks” and even a line of plush toys. The collection pays homage to the formative role Japanese design and culture played in P.A.M. lore, as well as the longstanding friendship between Hollenbach, Toohey and Hysteric Glamour designer Nobuhiko Kitamura.

Perhaps veteran isn’t the right word. When you consider the ingenuity and output of the brand, headquartered in Paris from 2015, before returning to Melbourne in 2020, ‘icon’ feels like the more appropriate descriptor. Ask emerging Australian streetwear designers who they look up to and Perks and Mini is referenced more often than not. Given their history of orchestrating the unexpected, the most exciting thing about P.A.M is we never really know what will come next.


Photography: Darren McDonald

/ Song for the Mute

It’s one of Australia’s most successful fashion exports, with a network of loyal customers stretching from Shanghai to Paris, an ongoing partnership with Adidas Originals and celebrity co-signs ranging from Baz Luhrmann to Peggy Gou (Luhrmann wore a pair of sneakers from the brand’s Adidas collab to Balenciaga’s most recent couture show). But Song for the Mute prefers to whisper rather than yell, which is what has allowed it to preserve the allure of a best kept secret.

Founded in 2010 by friends Lyna Ty and Melvin Tanaya, who met during primary school in North Sydney, Song for the Mute describes itself as a “long-form story”, with each new chapter, or collection, exploring a set of rich conceptual references. Ty, who is the creative director, draws inspiration from the vastness of nature, urban landscapes and global communities, such as Les Olympiades, the Parisian neighbourhood she was born in, which formed the backdrop to its autumn/winter 2022 collection and its debut Adidas Originals campaign.

To give you an idea of Song for the Mute’s popularity, the Shadowturf sneaker Ty recreated for the Adidas collaboration sold out the day it dropped. Their second outing with the brand is impending, and we expect it to cause an even greater fuss.

While Song for the Mute’s look defies definition—the word streetwear doesn’t capture the artisanal nature of its designs—the brand’s pieces contain a sense of controlled chaos. This tension is mirrored in the design of their Sydney concept store, which features mounds of moss pushing through cracked floor tiles, while garments circle above on a dry cleaning rail. A simple yet spellbinding storytelling device.

It may be wholly manufactured in Australia, but Song for the Mute is a truly international brand. Don’t rely on it remaining a best kept secret for long.



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