The Australian and New Zealand Brand Names to Have On Your Radar

From celebrating the National Designer Award to our NZ Design Edit and honouring a timeless fashion icon, these are the homegrown heroes to shop right now.

Whether you’re discovering an emerging fashion label for the first time, looking back on the best of Australian design or feeling inspired to get experimental in the kitchen, there’s no greater feeling than supporting the unique perspectives our part of the world has to offer. Be it small-batch hot sauces, award-winning fashion or celebrating cultural milestones, there’s a lot to look forward to right now.

The 2022 National Designer Award

Now in its 26th year, the National Designer Award celebrates emerging designers and Australia’s vibrant fashion talent. Presented by David Jones in collaboration with the Melbourne Fashion Festival, the prestigious award forms part of the festival’s Industry Development program and recognises the need to support and champion creators in the early stages of their careers and businesses. 

Cultivating a spirit of adventure with social, environmental and ethical issues at heart, 2022 National Designer and People’s Choice Award winner ALÉMAIS respects traditional craft and techniques to preserve a part of history while also looking forward to the future of fashion. The label’s innate talent to lead within the community, drive conscious consumerism and deliver innovative design to a global audience are just a few of the many reasons ALÉMAIS was selected as this year’s award recipient.

“The creativity, the exceptional standards, and the clear direction each designer has for their business is inspiring. Whilst all this year’s finalists impressed the judges, ALÉMAIS stood out for its commercial acumen and potential for growth. The label encapsulates values the conscious consumer seeks with an aesthetic that is creative and feminine, and both aspirational and attainable.”

Yolanda Finch, PayPal Melbourne Fashion Festival Acting CEO

The 2022 National Designer and People’s Choice Award winner, ALÉMAIS.

Honourable Mention for Sustainability recipient, Joslin.

The coveted annual prize includes an industry mentorship, networking and business exposure, as well as a business development pack that includes a record high $120,000 prize as well as marketing support, editorial and runway presentation opportunities, and the development of an exclusive David Jones capsule collaboration. This year’s judging panel of outstanding industry minds was led by David Jones’ General Manager of Womenswear, Footwear and Accessories, Bridget Veals, and General Manager of Menswear, Childrenswear and Home, Chris Wilson, as well as Editor in Chief of JONES, Phillipa Moroney, Editor in Chief of Harper’s Bazaar, Jillian Davidson, Camilla Freeman-Topper of CAMILLA & MARC, and former CEO of the Melbourne Fashion Festival, Graeme Lewsey. Advising the judges for the honourable mention for sustainability was Eloise Bishop, Head of Sustainability, David Jones.

Finalists for the 2022 award alongside ALÉMAIS included Beare Park, BLANCA, CLEA, E Nolan and Joslin.

The 2022 National Designer Award finalists. L-R: Elinor McInnes of Joslin, Ana Piteira of BLANCA, Natasha Gordon of CLEA, Lesleigh Jermanus of Alémais, Gabriella Pereira of Beare Park and Emily Nolan of E Nolan.

Coveted for their enduring and seasonless designs, Melbourne-based designer Joslin was awarded the Honourable Mention for Sustainability. Described as a ‘standout’ by David Jones’ Head of Sustainability, Eloise Bishop, Joslin has embedded additional steps into their operations that place sustainable social, environmental and ethical practice front of mind. As the recipient of this year’s award, Joslin has taken home a $10,000 prize as well as the opportunity to undertake a bespoke mentorship program led by David Jones in consideration of their sustainability and broader business goals.

“It is evident that sustainability is at the forefront of mind for our future generations of designers. It was an honour to see and hear how all six finalists have built sustainability into their business models and designs from its foundations.”

Eloise Bishop, Head of Sustainability at David Jones

Discover New: The NZ Design Edit

A snapshot of the NZ Design Edit on Elizabeth Street’s Level 8.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Arden at the official launch.

This past month, David Jones has been pleased to partner with New Zealand Trade and Enterprise to showcase leading designers of fashion, homewares, food, lifestyle and beauty from across New Zealand and celebrate its globally renowned reputation for exceptional products.

Enjoy the best in fashion with long-time classic labels like Karen Walker, Deadly Ponies and Rodd & Gunn alongside emerging designers Kowtow, MARLE, Saben and consciously-created children’s wear from Nature Baby. Shop the country’s most delicious edible exports with Apostle Hot Sauce, Bennetto organic sweet treats or delve into the relaxing world of Antipodes skincare and The Aromatherapy Co.’s sumptuous scents for your home.

For those visiting David Jones’ Elizabeth Street store, you can discover the immersive takeover on Level 8 until Sunday 7 August, or shop the edit of New Zealand’s best and brightest creators right here.

R.M.Williams turns 90

R.M.Williams‘ 90th birthday collection

Founded in 1932, icon of Australian style R.M. Williams is celebrating its 90th anniversary. While the world has changed a lot since Reginald Murray ‘RM’ Williams first began creating his elastic-sided boots in the South Australian outback, the brand’s commitment to handcrafting high-quality leather goods remains. 

Working with local stockmen and a mail-order system in the company’s early years, R.M. Williams opened its first factory in Adelaide in 1934, where it continues to produce boots for its legion of loyal followers and a growing international market. Created with just one piece of leather, each shoe undergoes over 80 handheld processes before making its way onto shelves. Explaining the design and focus on exceptional quality, R.M Williams said, “the point is, it’s got to last a long time. That’s what the stockmen pay for. We give them a good product.” 

90 years on, the original stockmen boots not only withstand the tough Australian terrain, farm work and horse riding but also look equally at home across the country’s boardrooms and on the pages of leading fashion editorials. Using artisanal skills passed down through generations, R.M. Williams boots are now synonymous with Australian style, and its legacy continues to grow with its apparel and leather-good ranges. To celebrate the brand’s 90th anniversary, R.M. Williams is releasing a limited-edition collection of legacy products to highlight its ongoing dedication to craftsmanship, quality and design.

Filled with boldness and adventure, join us online and instore this August as we look to Spring Summer 2022.