In any discussion about the world’s leading locales for fashion, Australia isn’t exactly the first country that comes to mind. Over the past 10 years, however, the country’s various labels and designers have managed to punch hard above their weight — not just on runways, but in the independent menswear space too.
In 2023, there are dozens of unique boutique labels that have built a solid core following, both at home and abroad; and while you mightn’t notice them on physical billboards or in every other ad you scroll past on social media, these brands are out there doing exemplary work — the kind that deserves a bigger audience.
Here then are our favourite Australian men’s fashion brands to add to your wardrobe in 2023.
The Best Australian Men’s Fashion Brands (2023)
- The Academy Brand
- Barney Cools
- P. Johnson
- Assembly Label
- M.J. Bale
- Jac + Jack
- Nana Judy
Originally a maker of swimwear founded in Sydney, Venroy has come to define the overarching aesthetic and typical off-duty uniform of the city’s Eastern Suburbs.
Expect muted tones, poolside proportions and a continued emphasis on swim shorts — the vertical of clothing that shot the brand to national stardom.
Utilising European textiles that are then cut and made up into full garments right here in Australia, Commas describes itself as an indie label “anchored in a sensitive solar aesthetic.”
As best we can tell, that guiding philosophy translates into clothes that look like they’ve been made and designed with a painter’s eye: evident in loose-fitting Cuban collar shirts that are vividly illustrated or outerwear silhouettes that have all the softness of 5-star resort robes.
Per garment prices are demonstrably on the punchier side; yet, in our view, worth every penny.
The Academy Brand
A good, homegrown alternative to “basics done well” brands in the mould of Uniqlo and J. Crew, Academy Brand specialises in daily apparel (e.g. button-downs and the humble chino) that is solidly built; yet won’t break the bank.
Lending further credibility to their reputation as a well-rounded generalist, most of Academy Brand’s menswear collection comes in an edit of classic, highly versatile colours. Garments made to be worn now and proofed for the future.
Barney Cools’ zany moniker gives a pretty good indication as to the brand’s core aesthetic. Very much a Byron-meets-Brooklyn type situation, shoppers can expect an array of billowy holiday shirts and punchy graphic tees.
Bright and fun in equal measure, this one’s not a bad shout if you’re in the market to dip your toe into the skatecore or indie sleaze aesthetic.
Since it was originally founded in 2019, Melbourne-based Kerrin has stuck pretty closely to its core identity — that of a label that lives and dies on the strength of its beachwear.
Kerrin Schuppan, the label’s eponymous founder is a Central Saint Martins graduate; and his technical bona fides are readily apparent in the “blink and you’ll miss it” methods used on simple things that age and wear in beautifully.
Look out for the brand’s deck shorts or its humorously titled “Plain Sailing” t-shirt.
A brand that needs little introduction — now with satellite stores all across Melbourne, New York, and London — P. Johnson is the brainchild of the eponymous designer, creative director, and trained winemaker Patrick Johnson.
Johnson’s namesake label has gone through quite the creative arc over the past decade; yet its latest chapter is undoubtedly its buzziest yet: a cocktail of technical sportswear, tastefully off-kilter tailoring (where the brand made its bones in the heyday of “Hashtag Menswear”), and the sort of accessories that catch the attention of legendary cultural institutions like the Grand Hotel Tremezzo.
Expect functional designs in monoblock colours from Assembly Label: another long-running inclusion on our list of the best Australian men’s fashion brands in 2023.
A great brand to integrate into a closet full of other, more aggressively styled brands, the focus at Assembly Label is emblematically Aussie. Translation? Substance over style, expressed through the lens of long-lasting ready-to-wear designs made out of premium fabrics.
Despite a period of commercial instability in the early 2000s, Ksubi has managed to reinvent itself of late; retaining its status as one of Australian fashion’s preeminent streetwear brands.
Once upon a time, its calling card was denim. But in an ecosystem now populated by brands like Amiri and John Elliott, has widened its net considerably to offer sweats, vibe-tastic outerwear, and accessories. Lucky us.
One of the Australian men’s fashion brands that gets the most airtime in the Boss Hunting office, M.J. Bale is a local Sydney institution — now with 70 stores nationwide and counting.
Drawing variously from the sartorial traditions of Japan and Italy, along with colour and an eye for detail that is informed by Australia’s own (largely) coastal lifestyle, few domestic labels offer as much of a value proposition or wide range of choices as Bale.
The brand’s recent Spring 2023 lookbook burnishes its reputation for timeless tailoring and fun-to-wear casual attire. Be sure to keep an eye on the webstore: where flash sales and very reasonable multibuy promotions are a frequent occurrence.
Another brand that is sure to register some interest if you’re already a customer of Jac + Jack or Assembly Label, Bassike’s specialty is high-quality everyday clothing made using sustainable manufacturing.
Considering the emphasis on tees, sweats, and other practical daily apparel, prices might be regarded as higher-than-average — something that Bassike has justified over the years with excellent manufacturing standards across the board over the years and its transparent approach to making clothes.
Jac + Jack
Once a business that specialised solely in cashmere knitwear, Jac + Jack now offers an array of men’s apparel from seven different stores around Australia.
The label’s menswear collections are pared back in both colour palate and style; coalescing around a core of long-sleeved shirts, polos, and ribbed tank tops that will find a place in most wardrobes come summer.
A homegrown success story that is now stocked in US retailers like Nieman Marcus and Bloomingdales, Nana Judy is as much a fascinating tale of entrepreneurship as it is premium streetwear.
The brand has a particularly strong following among American audiences, as reflected in its recent collaboration with Pepsi and (more intriguingly) the renowned New York Athletic Club.
Launched in 2011 by married couple Adam and Amy Coombes, much of Kloke’s appeal will be obvious to men who gravitate towards the workwear-redux aesthetic of British designers like Oliver Spencer or Margaret Howell.
Billowing proportions and voluminous layers that look their best layered over one another are recurring themes (in both the men’s and women’s collections). If you fancy the football hooligan aesthetic without the accompanying Stone Island-tier price tag, then we thoroughly recommend a closer look at one of the brand’s “Surplus Patch” sweaters.