Eight of the freshest Australian menswear brands found in Melbourne and Sydney

Melbourne and Sydney's rivalry has long existed, but just who is leading the pack for men's style?

Sydney's beachside culture certainly informs many of the brands on the street, from a sporty athleticism to luxury beach wear, while Melbourne rests its laurels on cobblestone laneways where darker, earthier and pointedly more European looks set the tone.

But, and I say this with love, Melbourne men (and the brands they sport) can have a tendency to take themselves too seriously. Labels in the southern capital master sculptural detail and architectural silhouettes like no one else, but this can get in the way of some good old fashioned fun, something that Sydney designers have on lock.

But this might also be their downfall.

Sydney folk, bless them, seem totally incapable of following a dress code to save their life. Especially black tie. Interpretations of tradition are always a welcome breath of fresh air but there is much to be said for a timeless classic. Alas, athleisurewear may not always be the best option on the red carpet.

No matter where you live, though, here are the designers making their respective city better dressed, starting with Melbourne...

Blair Archibald

The Brunswick-based menswear designer took out the Woolmark Prize in 2017, wooing judges with his creative use of wool and recycled fibres including plastic bottles. His menswear collection for Resort 19 borrows from workwear silhouettes and military rigidity. Shirted jumpsuits, kimono inspired double breasted blazers - Blair wins for pitching to the to the well-travelled trans-seasonal go-getter.

Autonomy

Melbourne duo Nick and Simone Demkiw are known for their ability to mix Melbourne street style with pop culture references. Stripes, embroidered text and stone washed bleached denim will be coming for spring. They're fashion without being too fixed on one particular stream of consciousness – and lean on layering (oh so Melbourne), neutral tones and flashes of bright to round out their message.

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Chris Ran Lin

Few are as adventurous as the knitted ambitions of Chris Ran Lin. The Melbourne designer creates works of art – where knitwear dares to be different and it fits in sweetly in Melbourne's multicultural epicentre. He's bringing colour to street style where black and grey once dominated, and feasts on pastel a European adventure. He's big on beading, embroidery and his tailoring has got its heart fixed on avant-garde. This is where fashion hits an almost outrageous peak – for the brave who wear art for the sake of being the most original in a crowded room.

Ex Infinitas

An RMIT fashion graduate who likes his men's collection oversized, Lukas Vincent is Ex Infinitas – a luxury surf and street label that's barely touched the sand or grazed a knee on a pavement, but given the opportunity he would be the best dressed bloke there. Vincent works with a bright colour palette and has a keen eye for avant-garde styling. His Aussie roots embrace a Parisian and Italian thirst for street style that's cultured in a club scene somewhere in Europe. There's sheer knits, leather pants and neon for a no-wave salute.

Flying the flag for Sydney is...

Commas

They take inspiration from Sydney beaches but know the value of adding a luxe European wow factor. Founded by Richard Jarman, the resort label works with Italian mills creating beach side chic along with high quality shirting, casual jackets and Italian linen robes for cruise liner life. This is for the fashion set who leave Sydney in winter for a summer in Puglia, Italy and post it on Instagram.

Surrounded by Ghosts

Street wear label Surrounded by Ghosts takes its street style seriously when it comes to the men they pitch to. Made in Australia, the team behind the brand are Annabella Barber, Josh Fallshaw, Kolby Johnston and Morgan McLeann who look towards Europe but keep their Sydney roots intact.

Think drawstring pants in bright yellow, stripe wool blend coats with a nod to the marina and oversized T-shirts for the prettiest boy on the street style corner.

Ten Pieces

What started as pure athleisure has evolved into a more considered yet no less fun ensemble. The latest collection leans on military cues, drawstring jumpsuits, track pants for Bondi hipsters and tailoring that's got a Jamaican meets punk aesthetic.  What makes Ten Pieces a champion in the Sydney scene is that it fits in wherever you plan to wear it – there's a sporty shine to its ulterior motive and it can survive just about anywhere.

Non-Type

Stuck in an existential fashion crisis? Then you've found your fashion match with Non-Type. Founded by former Ksubi movers and shakers Gareth Moody and George Gorrow, this Sydney men's label is purposeful built around non-specific, non-seasonal and non-trend ready to wear. Have you got your head around that? What they do is create luxury surf wear where leather blazers and sporty apparel thrives on comfort for the non-conformist man within. They're the most fashionable anti-fashion label around, and has Sydney written all over it.

Check out the gallery above to see the brands shaping Australian style.

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