A History of Fashion in Adelaide

August 28, 2013

The fashion industry in Adelaide is one that has attracted increasing interest with the launch of more exciting local labels and events than ever before.

Traditionally, Adelaide was the home to several notable clothing manufacturers. In the late 1800s, two of the largest were Murray’s Clothing and Shirt Factory and the Union Boot Factory. A millinery industry also existed, supplying Adelaide women with stylish hats for many types of occasions. Early colonists loved to make a statement with clothing, just as we do today and took advantage of their distance from Europe as well as higher relative disposable to reinvent their style.

The Parade, King William Road and more recently Rundle Mall and The Myer Centre have been influencers of style over the decades as hubs where fashion trends diffuse into communities.
The Parade was traditionally popular as a place to meet over a coffee or snack and was accessible via a tram that went to and from the city until the 1950s. As the community grew, it became a place attractive for clothing and accessory stores to open.

The Parade Norwood in the 1950s (Image Copyright The Parade Norwood 2013)

King William Road was an extension of King William Street, which became popular as a shopping and dining precinct, much like The Parade. It experienced a renaissance in 1985 when the street was repaved and improved, and has since been home to some of Adelaide’s most loved stores.
Rundle Mall, Adelaide’s main retail strip was opened in 1976 after closing Rundle Street to traffic. In 1991, The Myer Centre was opened on Rundle Mall, which houses over 120 speciality stores.
Rundle Mall Launch in 1976 (Image Copyright Rundle Mall 2012)
As the fashion industry in Adelaide grows, so will the fashion communities in these areas. Rundle Mall and the Myer Centre are currently undergoing a $30 million redevelopment and Rundle Place; Adelaide’s newest destination for fashion has opened its doors.
A number of Adelaide labels, notably George Gross and Harry Who also continue to design and manufacture high quality garments in Adelaide.
In order to support the local industry, the annual Adelaide Fashion Festival brings Adelaide’s favourite shopping destinations together for a celebration of South Australia’s best established and emerging designers that grows bigger each year.
 Rundle Street in the Early Days

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