Fashion-forward designers have the future in mind

Kaylah Joelle Baker

Melbourne Fashion Hub’s (MFH) pop-up event is back for its third year, with 17 students and graduate designers showcasing new designs that put people and the planet first.

The event also serves as an opportunity for the public to get a firsthand look into emerging designers during the conceptualisation phase of their brand and purchase one-of-a-kind pieces ahead of the rest of the world.

As the final practical element of the designers MFH six-week program, founder and owner of the hub Julia Browne is calling it “facilitated learning” that prepares the students for the future.

“I work with all the designers to cover all the fashion basics that they are going to need in order to not only represent themselves and their brand in a public-facing consumer and industry environment, but to take their business forward as well,” she said.

“Everything from learning how to set up a sole trader ABN, all the way through to merchandise and conceptualisation and point of sale is covered. The pop-up is a practical element of everything they have learnt in order to engage with the public and the industry.”

The hub’s Buy the Future pop-up at Emporium Melbourne will be open to the public on Saturday, March 25 and Sunday, March 26, from 10am to 7pm.

This event will follow on from the opening night event, which will see designers given a chance to engage and connect with people in the fashion industry, buyers and media.

While only a limited collection will be showcased from each designer, Ms Browne said some of the students were already thinking ahead of ways to navigate this.

“One of the designers is actually going to be taking measurements of people on the day and creating semi-bespoke garments. So, he will digitally create a personal avatar of that person and create the garment specifically to fit the customer’s specific measurements,” Ms Browne said.


The fantastic thing I have discovered through speaking with the students and graduates is that they all have different ways to approach it, and digital technology is making creating, designing and customisation so much more accessible.


Of the incredible 2023 designers that come from a multitude of fashion institutes, there are finalists from the MFW 2022 Student Collections Runway, a winner and runner-up of the Myer Emerging Designer Award 2022, and a designer featured by Vogue Australia, among other achievements.

According to Ms Browne, this year’s pop-up also comes at the perfect time, with there being no better time to support and champion Australia’s future fashion talent.

A recent report from the Australian Fashion Council has demonstrated a new drive to support and promote local designers on the world stage through its Australian Fashion trademark campaign, and Ms Browne strives to take part in “supporting their [AFC’S] greater goal”.

“We all have to work on a collective strategy to promote Australian fashion and I really want the world to see what we are doing here, because we have such incredible talent,” she said.

“I want to see them [the students and graduates from MFH] in fashion weeks and festivals in Sydney and globally, that is my wish.”

The Melbourne Fashion Hub will be located on the lower ground floor of Emporium Melbourne, opposite Fortress Melbourne.

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