Men's Fashion

Reporter: Mark Gibson

When it comes to fashion, West Australian women often grab the attention, but far from King Street is a bunch of West Aussie blokes, toiling away in the suburbs and taking on the world. It's not Milan, but Malaga, a suburban factory making designer duds.. and selling them around the globe.

"We're selling about 80,000 pairs a year, so we've grown significantly in the 5 years that we've been running." Tired of ill-fitting undies, Mark Turner started designing his own.. and so, 2 Wink underwear was born."It's to wink, so the wink with the eye so because it's underwear it's a little bit personal, it's cheeky"

These days, making clothes locally is almost unheard of. There was uproar last year when Pacific Brands, the maker of Bonds, announced it was sacking staff and moving to China.That's when 2 Wink decided to buck the trend and bring its production back home. Mark says "There's so much confidence out there with Australian made products not only from Australians but overseas buyers as well."

While costs might be higher so is turnover.. about 2 million dollars a year.A few suburbs away in Innaloo is Zac Pritchard.. an off shore oil rig worker with a passion for fashion. "I thought I could just design a little bit and throw it into a printer or something and become successful but there's definitely a lot more paperwork than I expected." Zac's label, "Known Associates," is just starting out.. he's designing hats, singlets, shirts and jumpers. "A smarter range of men's clothing but with a fun, funky feel on it." The 26 year old says a career change takes time.. finding manufacturers, even choosing a name.Zac said "It just clicked with me so i just wrote it down on paper and sketched it a few times and yeah I've just stayed with that one ever since I knew that one was the one that worked."

When it comes to women's shoes, forget Manolo Blahnik.. a former construction worker from Gooseberry Hill is well on his way to becoming the next big thing. "I was put in a position where I had said that I could design shoes and I had to design shoes so I just practiced drawing shoes for a couple of weeks and finally figured out that I could do it." Tristan Blair is now based in Sydney.. has shoe shops in the UK and Japan.. and is about to launch in Europe and the U.S. "Took me about 2 and a half to 3 years to get a real understanding of how the whole industry worked, from drawing a picture on a piece of paper and then having actually a physical sample to sell." From head to toe and in between our Perth trio has the fashion world covered.

For more information

2 wink underwear: www.2winkwear.com

Known Associates email address: knownassociates@live.com

Tristan Blair shoes: www.tristanblair.com