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Five Australian designers who started out in a garage

In celebration of Melbourne’s annual Fashion Festival, we are recognising five Australian designers who set out to create something special in their garage.

Oscar Wylee

With a desire to provide high-quality, affordable optical glasses with a vintage feel, the fashionable glasses brand began in the modest garage, founded by two university students in 2012. While having since moved to a major showroom in the heart of Sydney (with a few other stores scattered around Sydney and Melbourne), Oscar Wylee still provides quality and affordable eyewear – but now with on-site optometrists!

Dion Lee

Fashion powerhouse Dion Lee started his career showcasing his garments in an underground parking garage in 2008 at the Australian Fashion Week. Since then, he has become a regular at New York Fashion shows and continues to wow the industry with his signature structure shapes, technical tailoring and master construction.

Palmaira Sandals

A start-up from sisters-in-law Lisa and Tracey, Palmaira Sandals started selling to the Australian market from their garage when they were both pregnant. They knew the local market would love the craftsmanship of their authentic sandals and began making unique designs with fun colour mixes and plays on fabrics specifically to suit the Aussie market.

Christopher Esber

Chosen to showcase his work at Australian Fashion Week following his graduation from Sydney TAFE’s Fashion Design Studio, Christopher Esber is known for precision tailoring and forward thinking with his innovative approach to textiles. He credits his success to his family and friends who supported him from his parent’s garage all the way to New York runways.

Michelle Aznavorian 

At 19, Michelle started her first business selling second-hand designer clothes on eBay. After funding her way through studies at Melbourne School of Fashion, Michelle began MISHA COLLECTION from her family garage. As Creative Director, Michelle still oversees all aspects of the business, with her eye for detail and vision for the future resulting in expertly edited and well-received collections.