Regardless, navigating global growth is a delicate balance for small businesses that have so far grown organically on social media and through direct sales channels and want to maintain ties to their countries of origin.
Along with Reznik, newcomers Phoebe Pendergast and Joslin are solidifying their presence in the Australian fashion space with AAFW debuts. In addition to the newcomers this season, Michael Lo Sordo celebrated his tenth anniversary with an AAFW show. And 55-year-old Australian mainstay Cue is heading to AAFW for his first-ever standalone show at the event (it was previewed as part of a wider AAFW show in 2021).
For Reznik, it’s about cutting through the noise from social media and showing his clothes in a different format, at home. “It felt like a huge growth moment for me,” she says, adding that physical shows seem to be on the rise again. “It’s something that people have missed, I think. But now it’s about combining both the physical and digital worlds.”
After showing at AAFW, Reznik is headed to Paris in June—a first for the brand. She brings her AAFW collection and possibly some extra pieces. In this sense, participating in AAFW ensures that designers like Reznik – who have not historically produced full collections – are well prepared to present to buyers in Europe. For a while, despite encouragement from her PR since last September, she wasn’t ready. Now, she says, is the time. “Finding the right team and developing it slowly here in Australia has been important to me,” says Reznik. “It’s something I had to prepare for more.”
Paris is calling
After several seasons of showing at AAFW, Esber moved to Paris. He is not ruling out a return to showing in Australia (he last showed there in 2021), but for now he has other priorities: namely overseas expansion. The brand has 150 international dealers.