Home » Australian breakout star Alix Higgins on selling the dream

Australian breakout star Alix Higgins on selling the dream

Like many brands founded in the age of social media, Higgins’s ‘true’ start date is murky. He started posting (and selling) his designs on Instagram back in 2020. Having come up in the online world — Tumblr and YouTube are among the key precursors to his official fashion education at universities in Sydney and Paris — the designer knows how to operate digitally. He gained traction, developing a tight-knit community of brand fans. And as its following grew over the pandemic, Higgins felt a shift. “I was like, I can’t be DMing people my bank details,” he says. It was then that he launched the site, aka the “proper beginning”. Now, he’s doing bigger business, with yearly revenues climbing towards (but sitting under) AUD $200,000.

Slow and steady

When asked to recall the best piece of advice he’s received, Higgins always returns to words of wisdom from Aussie designer Michael Lo Sordo: “It takes 10 years of hard yards, then it gets easy,” (or at least, easier). “It’s not even really advice,” Higgins says after a pause. “It’s just the harsh reality.”

Little differences between prep for today’s third show and his first show progress. “In the first show the stylist would ask me, ‘Can we have another one of that skirt for that look?’ And I was just like, I don’t have $5. I can’t print another bit of fabric.” This time around, the collection is bigger, there are plenty of repeat sizes and funds for more experimentation, in the collection itself and the show production.

“I do think it will be a tough 10 years,” Higgins says. “But I’m also very risk-averse.” He credits his cautious nature to his upbringing and work prior to launching his own label. “Every step of my brand has been so slow because I can’t just borrow all this money, put it into this thing and hope it’s going to go well for me. I don’t have any backup.”

Higgins’s brand is entirely self-funded. It’s propped up by earnings from the textile design work he did until the beginning of 2023, when he quit to solely focus on his eponymous label. Before then, he worked for a textile printing company and freelanced for the likes of Coperni and Amy Crookes.