Also published in Darling Magazine
Have a flat white or a cup of coffee in a Melbourne café, and you begin to discover what this vibrant urban community is like. One sip, and you can taste their attention to detail in the craft of coffee. One look around, and you’re drawn to the café’s artistic décor. Listen a moment, and you can hear the energy and depth of the conversations.
Melbourne has a culture that is so deeply rooted in street art, music and theatre. Not only has Melbourne seen the growth of a creative and entrepreneurial community, but also their support for local, innovative, and sustainable businesses is unmatched. It is no wonder that Melbourne is known as Australia’s cultural capital and the most livable city in the world.
Here are some of the coolest and most creative brands coming out of the city:
Alchemy Produx is the brainchild of Australian duo Sara and Tristan, who hand-make artisan candles from 100% natural soy wax. It was 5 years ago when experimenting with soy wax that led to this accidental combination in their backgrounds of Fashion Design and Chemistry to create these unique candles.
Alchemy candles are individually hand poured using small-batch production, into chemistry glassware such as beakers and conical flasks and made to order in their Melbourne studio.
Bëuy offers contemporary jewelry, designed and crafted in Melbourne, Australia. Collections are seasonal and utilize diverse materials and techniques to produce affordable innovative works that balance function and form.
Founded in 2010 by Virginia Martin, búl has become an identifiable Australian contemporary label. Utilizing her extensive design and production knowledge both from a childhood spent learning the inner workings of a fashion and retail brand through her stepfather, Dave Roper, as well as her own industry experience working in the U.S for Proenza Schouler, Cynthia Rowley, Heatherette and Trovata.
Inspired by an undying curiosity for travel, architecture, and the natural landscape — búl permeates with a timeless and distinctive aesthetic that is a balance of relaxed, sophistication and colorful vitality. Each búl piece is a careful balance of classic, yet distinctive shapes placed alongside sophisticated tailoring allowing pieces to become timeless elements of every wardrobe.
Capra Designs create hand poured eco resin vessels and powder coated steel plant hangers and stands, offering a creative way to feature plants in and around the home. A collaborative effort of Bianca Lambert and Thomas Wilson, each of the items are proudly designed and produced in Melbourne.
Fujinella is a Melbourne-based fashion line, designed with all women in mind – produced in a monotone color palette so that it fits into any women’s wardrobe. All fabrications used are carefully selected and are machine washable, durable and easy. Styling is always ageless, versatile, and designed to be worn from one season to the next.
Design enthusiast and businesswoman, Anna Ross, founded Kester Black in 2012. It is now one of Australia’s leading manicure and skincare brands. Their range is the result of her belief in cruelty-free and sustainably-produced cosmetics that are inspired by beautiful design and uncompromising ethical principles.
Driven to minimize their environmental impact and maximize the quality of their cosmetics, Kester Black uses sustainable production methods that utilize recyclable materials and small batch manufacturing to minimize waste. All of Kester Black’s products are manufactured in Australia and are Vegan Society, Cruelty Free Intern.
Alongside their vibrant range of nail polishes, Kester Black offers a nourishing range of skincare products containing 97%+ natural ingredients that are free from palm oil, parabens, sulfates and petrochemicals. As part of their initiative to give back, $1 from every sale on kesterblack.com is donated to one of four charity partners.
Radical Yes was launched in 2013 by Product Designer and Yoga Practitoner, Kerryn Moscicki, in response to her search for the perfect fashion-activewear shoe. Since then, Radical Yes has developed a cult following for their ever evolving capsule collections that offer a quirky take on cool-comfort.
More than footwear, Radical Yes is a brand that supports creative, active and inspired lifestyles and is purpose-built for people who like to move and be moved.
Togetherness Design is a fashion and homewares label that playfully explores pattern, bold color and inky motifs across a range of applications including textiles, illustration and ceramics. Products include garments, bags, cushions and jewelry with a focus on natural fibers and high quality materials. Each item is made by hand by designer Esther Sandler from her Melbourne-based studio.
Wendy Voon is the owner and designer of WENDY VOON, a Melbourne-based, Australian contemporary knitwear label, established in 2005. Wendy combines contemporary design with elegant forms, sensuous textures and the finest yarns. Each piece is soft, luxurious and highly wearable.
Wendy works on domestic knitting machines, as well as with a local Melbourne knitting mill. ‘Sculptural’ and ‘architectural’ are two terms that have been used to describe her designs, reflecting Wendy’s design philosophy and sensibility. Careful research and sampling ensure that color, form and texture are happily balanced. The label reflects Wendy’s belief in timeless, elegant and thoughtful design that transcends seasonal trends.
Feature Image via Kester Black