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Cue Founder Rod Levis Shines as Australian Fashion Laureate, Redefining Style with Unmatched Brilliance

Cue Founder Rod Levis Shines as Australian Fashion Laureate, Redefining Style with Unmatched Brilliance

Rod Levis Wins Australian Fashion Laureate for Lifetime Achievement

Cue Clothing Co. founder and chairman Rod Levis has been awarded the prestigious Australian Fashion Laureate for Lifetime Achievement. The announcement was made during the 2023 edition of the Australian fashion industry’s most esteemed awards event, held at the Sydney Opera House.

Levis, now 81 years old, established the midmarket fashion chain Cue Clothing in 1968. Today, the company operates around 200 stores in Australia and New Zealand and is the largest local fashion manufacturer in Australia. Notably, the majority of Cue Clothing’s manufacturing is still done onshore, showcasing their commitment to sustainability and supporting the local economy.

Recognizing the importance of nurturing emerging talent, Cue Clothing acquired a majority stake in Australian designer Dion Lee in 2013 and manages the business side of the brand. This strategic move demonstrates Levis’ dedication to supporting and promoting young designers in the industry.

The award was accepted by Levis’ two children, Melanie and Justin Levis, who serve as executive directors of Cue Clothing Co. This family-owned business has shown a commitment to excellence and longevity in the fashion industry.

The Australian Fashion Laureate, established in 2008 by IMG Fashion Events and Properties in partnership with Destination NSW, honors outstanding achievements in the industry. The winners are selected by a wide industry panel, recognizing excellence and contribution to Australian fashion’s cultural and economic impact.

Highlighting Sustainable Design

While Rod Levis’ Lifetime Achievement award is a significant recognition of his contributions to the fashion industry, it is important to highlight other winners who are making a positive impact on the environment.

Kit Willow Podgornik, founder of the sustainable brand KitX, won the Sustainable Designer award. This accolade acknowledges her commitment to ethical and eco-friendly fashion practices. By prioritizing sustainability, KitX sets an example for the industry and inspires others to follow suit.

Supporting Emerging and Indigenous Designers

The Australian Fashion Laureate also recognizes the achievements of emerging and Indigenous designers. Alix Higgins won the Emerging Designer category, showcasing her talent and potential in the industry. Denni Francisco, who designs under the Ngali label, received the Indigenous Designer award, highlighting the importance of Indigenous representation and cultural diversity in Australian fashion.

Championing Excellence in Leadership

Lisa Havilah, the CEO of Sydney’s Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, was honored with the Carla Zampatti Award for Excellence in Leadership. This award, introduced in 2021 to honor the late Carla Zampatti, recognizes Havilah’s significant contributions to the fashion industry through her leadership at the Powerhouse Museum. The museum has supported emerging talents and staged fashion retrospectives, showcasing the rich history and innovation in Australian fashion.

The Australian Fashion Laureate celebrates the best in Australian fashion and acknowledges the diverse range of skilled creatives and professionals who have made significant contributions to the industry’s cultural and economic impact. By recognizing sustainability, emerging talent, and leadership, the awards inspire the industry to continue pushing boundaries and embracing positive change.

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