MBFWA (Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia) started with a bold, gold, BDSM vibe on Sunday following an awe-inspiring show from Toni Matičevski. While excited to see the usual highlights from well-known brands such as Alice McCall and Dion Lee, I’m incredibly intrigued to see what Brisbane menswear label Model Citizen has to offer.
I was lucky enough to sit down with creative director Eeshaal Niranjan last week, who flashed an excited smile when speaking about boarding a flight destined for MBFWA alongside a close-knit team (a “fashion family”, if you will) of 18.
One of only two menswear labels invited to show at this year’s Fashion Week, Model Citizen's latest collection will be revealed this Friday, May 20.
The brand has already gained a substantial global following and is stocked in well-known boutiques across LA. They also premiered at LA Fashion Week in 2015 with their debut collection featuring neoprene jumpers emblazoned with the label’s clever title.
With a clear understanding of the industry and an unapologetically passionate approach to his craft, it’s no wonder Eeshaal has put Model Citizen on an upward trajectory since its launch in 2014. Inspired by international streetwear trends (think Yeezy), the label’s overall concept is to create a unique fusion of functional streetwear and modern tailoring.
Eeshaal spoke comfortably and confidently about his upcoming showing at MBFWA. He also revealed that Chris Hemsworth and the Stenmark twins, Jordan and Zach may be making guest appearances during Fashion Week.
While success was almost immediate, Eeshaal spoke of some of the difficulties they’ve had to face along the way.
Eeshaal says that there are obvious struggles with being based in Australia, which is probably why the brand decided to design with a season-to-season approach that focuses on staple pieces that could be as worn here as easily as they could on the other side of the world.
Perhaps the most exciting development in Model Citizen’s short history is the decision to produce all garments in Australia. This local approach to a global label puts Australia (and more specifically Brisbane) fashion on the map, not to mention the ethical approach and local job creation associated with on-shore production. The latest collection also features locally-sourced fabric in some of its core pieces.
On finding the “perfect cut” in men’s tailoring, Eeshaal says, “Womenswear can be more forgiving as it is easier to drape over the body, while tailoring has to be more precise.”
He added, however, that the longer silhouettes and oversized shapes that feature heavily in Model Citizen’s collections can sometimes be a bit more accommodating when finding that perfect cut.
There’s nothing sweeter than being reminded why you got into your industry in the first place. Eeshaal’s vision and optimism for the future of Model Citizen did that for me and I can’t wait to see where the brand goes from here.
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