The next generation of designers

Connor Mallis, Reporter

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Perth might not be as fashion focused as states like Melbourne, but we have some young local fashion designers wanting to change that.

Matthew MacPherson’s label TheArtsOf is on show on Instagram here.

 Matt hand paints his designs on clothes, to bring a more intimate feel between the artist and the consumer.

 What makes your designs unique?

I try to be different and experiment with clothes, even the way I dress I try to do something different and to stand out. I feel like nowadays days people just throw some logos on a shirt and call it a day. However, for me when I’m designing clothes it comes directly from me and what I am feeling at that moment in time, it’s not just a logo, it’s a full design with the actual purpose behind it.

What should people expect to feel when they wear your clothes?

If you buy a piece from me, it will come from me, I hand paint all the garments myself on the floor of my house with the basics, but it has meaning. When people wear my clothes I want them to believe in the movement and believe in what is behind the design and feel like they can relate to the project that I am trying to put out there. It may not be for everyone but staying true to my vision is my number 1 priority.

What inspires you to make/design clothes?

Personal expression inspires me to design, designing is an outlet for me to express what’s in my head. It takes stress off me and helps me think straight. I started off by making shirts for myself and stuff that I would want to wear because I got sick of buying shirts from stores that really didn’t care about anything other than making money. That’s why I don’t refer to TheArtsOf as a clothing brand, but rather a creative arts project. It’s more of a personal rebellion for me.

What struggles have you faced designing/running your company?

My biggest struggle so far would be finance, everyone has to start somewhere and I have so many ideas locked away in my head but I can’t act on them due to not having money to put into it yet. However, I’m still able to make stuff for myself but I would love to be able to share it with people.

A final thought, I’ve always struggled with competition, I’ve always thought “why am I doing this, what is in it for me, why would people want to associate with my ideas” but if you stay true to yourself and you want something bad enough, it can always be achieved.


Nicholas Barrett’s label is ATTENCIONÈ

Nicholas brings concepts from the world around him and put them into his designs.

What makes your designs unique?

I believe my clothing pieces, especially the unrevealed/released capsules I am working on currently, are unique as they are in essence expressions of my perception of the world around as well as concepts of my imagination.

What should people expect to feel when they wear your clothes?

Every day I strive to research and put in efforts to further the quality, cut and material of coming capsules by Attencionè. I believe by being patient and continuously striving to learn and improve, we will go far beyond our aim of creating pieces that satisfy the physical senses, provide utility and are aesthetically pleasing.

What inspires you to make/ design your clothes?

The process as a whole from creating the idea to production of it and then to sell it. It is a form of creative output for myself where I can channel my energy in one direction whilst still being able to work on multiple things in the one direction. Seeing the work of other designers that I like inspires me to stay on my path and to continue to learn and improve.

What struggles have you faced designing/ running your company?

The biggest challenge I still face is in the execution of what I design, finding trustworthy and reliable manufacturers to produce and create your pieces is a slow process with long sample wait times and high costs. By researching and being patient each day I am closer to completely solving this challenge. We have already entered into accessories research and production which we have been able to do so quickly because of our amazing customer support: Four of four pre-release batches sold out.


Ela Duys & Keely Jackson’s label is called Ela & Jackson

This is a fashion label for swim, beach and yoga wear.

 What makes your designs unique?

Our swimwear has been carefully designed so that you can wear most of our pieces to the beach or pool, as well as to the gym. Both Keely and myself are very active and love wearing either our Muko or Moore top when we go to our Pilates classes.

Our next collection is also being made from 100% recycled fishnets, this is a new type of nylon lycra that will assist in creating a less polluted ocean and will be better for the environment .

What should people expect to feel when they wear your clothes?

We want our customer to feel confident and stylish when she wears our clothes. We understand that every woman’s body shape is different so we make all our products completely seemless and most items are adjustable.

What inspires you to make/ design your clothes?

We take a lot of our inspiration from each other, both of us are obsessed with fashion and styling so it was only natural that we started our own label together. I personally get a lot of inspiration when I’m travelling, learning new things and meeting new people.

What struggles have you faced designing/ running your company?

We face so many struggles, which at the time seem like we will never get through it and then when we do it just makes us stronger. You learn that in the beginning people can really take advantage of you because your new to the game. This happened to us when we first started our company and we were looking for different manufacturers. A lady we had met through a mutual friend saw her opportunity to take us on a very expensive ride. This taught us that you learn who to trust very quickly within this competitive industry.

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The next generation of designers