The Social Studio: a beacon of creativity and social good

If you haven’t yet had the pleasure, I encourage you to wander on down to The Social Studio at 128 Smith St. Collingwood,  Melbourne.


You will soon discover that this place is not just a shop, it’s an inspirational fashion hotspot where you can buy original designs made onsite from reclaimed and up-cycled fabrics. The masters behind the clothes come from Melbourne’s refugee community who design and sew these fabulous creations you see hanging on the racks.

There’s a lot going on in the studio – people hard at work behind industrial sized sewing machines, fabric dyeing and a great little cafe next door where you can have coffee and lunch.


This is Ava, the Yves Saint Laurent  of the Social Studio,  working hard on next season’s menswear range which I am told will reference Africana colour and prints.

And the good news is that the Social Studio is franchising. Genius social entrepreneur and leader of the fashpack Jackie Ruddock will be starting a sister organisation to the Social Studio called the Social Outfit in Sydney. Follow her blog here which will tell you all about it.

Fashpack in Footscray

If anyone’s been to Footscray in Melbourne lately you will have noticed the distinctive Fashpack vibe. It’s a veritable feast of headwraps, weaves, wigs and Africana prints.

P1120294….and anyone can wear a great looking weave.

P1120268….just like Mahalet. She currently works at the Welwalo Cafe in Footscray but plans to open her own beauty and weave salon very soon. If this hair-do is any indication, I predict Mahalets house of hair will be the next Tony and Guy.


P1120289Samuel’s not wearing a wig or weave but he is wearing bling, five gold chains in total. He can’t leave the house without them. “For me it’s like putting on underwear, I gotta have my chains”.