Changemakers: Four Up-And-Coming Creatives to Check Out at Australian Fashion Week 2024

Changemakers rising stars of Australian Fashion Week 2024
Marie-Antoinette Issa

Lifestyle Editor

Apr 25, 2024

As Sydney’s sartorial set gears up for the stylish showcase that is Australian Fashion Week’s 2024, Changemakers promise to redefine the industry landscape with their innovative perspectives, transformative initiatives and a trail-blazing range of rising stars. Led by four fab creatives.

Established by IMG in 2021, the Changemakers platform serves as a beacon for those who believe in leveraging the power of fashion to instigate societal shifts and carve a path towards inclusivity and sustainability. This year’s cohort embodies this ethos, each bringing a unique narrative and vision to the Australian fashion industry. Among the remarkable lineup are (above, clockwise from top left) Elaine George, James Bartle, Kim Russell and Rumbie Mutsiwa. Four individuals whose contributions extend beyond the runway to shape culture and drive change.

Elaine George: Championing diversity and mentorship

Elaine George stands at the forefront of a new era in Australian fashion. Her legacy marked by ground breaking achievements and an unwavering dedication to inclusivity. As the first Indigenous model to grace the cover of Vogue Australia in 1993, Elaine shattered barriers. And, paved the way for future generations of Indigenous models. Today, she continues to inspire as a mentor, nurture young talent and advocate for increased representation within the industry. At Australian Fashion Week, Elaine’s presence on the IMG Next Gen runway and her role as a model mentor for the Indigenous Fashion Projects Show underscore her commitment to fostering diversity and empowering emerging voices.

James Bartle: Redefining fashion with purpose

In a world where style often intersects with social responsibility, James Bartle understands the power of both. As the founder of Outland Denim, Bartle pioneers a new paradigm in denim production. One that prioritises ethical sourcing and empowers vulnerable communities. Outland Denim’s B-corp certification is a testament to Bartle’s unwavering commitment to transparency and sustainability. At Australian Fashion Week, Bartle’s presence stands to serve as a reminder that fashion can be a force for good. Offering hope and opportunity to those in need.

Kim Russell: Unravelling a rich fashion tapestry

With a keen eye for detail and a deep appreciation for fashion history, Kim Russell breathes new life into the industry’s narrative. As an archivist, stylist and creative consultant, Russell’s work transcends borders. Offering a multi-faceted exploration of the evolution of fashion evolution. Her expertise has earned her recognition as one of Instagram’s pre-eminent fashion history brains – a testament to her enduring impact on the global fashion community. At Australian Fashion Week, Russell’s insights will illuminate the past while shaping the future. And enrich the discourse surrounding cultural heritage and innovation.

Rumbie Mutsiwa: Celebrating diversity in beauty

In a world where beauty standards are constantly evolving, Rumbie Mutsiwa emerges as a pioneer, celebrating diversity and championing self-expression. As a leading hair educator and stylist who specialises in textured hair, Mutsiwa’s work transcends boundaries. And empowers individuals to embrace their natural beauty with confidence. At Australian Fashion Week, Mutsiwa’s hair master class presented by Shark Beauty promises to inspire and educate, offering invaluable insights into the artistry of textured hair care. Through her advocacy and expertise, Mutsiwa continues to redefine beauty norms and pave the way for a more inclusive future.

Ultimately, Australian Fashion Week’s 2024 Changemakers each embody the spirit of innovation and progress. Their diverse perspectives and transformative initiatives shaping the future of the industry. And, their unique contributions also spotlighting the power of fashion to inspire change and foster inclusivity.


By Marie-Antoinette Issa

Lifestyle Editor

Marie-Antoinette Issa is the Lifestyle Editor for The Carousel and Women Love Tech. She has worked across news and women's lifestyle magazines and websites including Cosmopolitan, Cleo, Madison, Concrete Playground, The Urban List and Daily Mail, I Quit Sugar and Huffington Post.



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