Melbourne designer Jude Ng has been creating clothes under the label Design by Jude, that are stylish, environmentally responsible, comfortable and for all genders for the last three years in a tiny atelier-cum-store in one of the city’s hippest suburbs.
The idea to combine a store and an atelier in the same space was due mostly to practicalities like cost, and Jude’s desire to be close to his customers. Customer feedback is an important part of how he creates his designs, says Jude. His small team has a design assistant, a pattern-maker, and an intern.
The aesthetic feel of Design by Jude is a cross between Yohji Yamamoto, Jean Paul Gaultier and Vivienne Westwood, his two original sources of inspiration, translated through his Singaporean heritage and Melbourne home.
Focusing on using materials that have an inbuilt soft and comfortable texture, using deadstock and eco-friendly fabrics, Design by Jude collections come in non-gendered designs that are flattering to all sexes. Some of the designs have been so popular, that they are recreated every season in new fabrics; customers become fans returning every collection to add to their Jude wardrobe.
“I am super anti fast fashion, my ethos is very focused on bringing back local production and local industry. There are so many talented makers in Australia so I want to give them work and keep the skills here,” says Jude.
Layering is a core part of Jude’s design practice, influenced not only by Melbourne’s notoriously fickle weather, but also inspired by his connection to Asian traditional clothing.
That same influence is also behind Jude’s concept of non-gendered clothing, looking towards historical Asian costume for example of men in skirts, and women in trousers, as well as the influence of three older sisters who were tomboys in the ‘90s.
Discover more interesting independent Australian fashion brands in Our Fashion Stories section.