WHEN Tegan McAuley returned to Canberra in 2009 after spending five years studying in Brisbane, she was shocked.
“I couldn’t believe how much it had changed since I was last there, and how much it had evolved culturally as a city,” Tegan says.
“It wasn’t long before I discovered a creative revolution bubbling at the heart of Canberra.”
Tegan, a travelling exhibitions officer at the National Portrait Gallery, decided to tap into that creative revolution by launching a new indoor market, “Hustle & Scout”, combining a feast of Canberra’s most talented fashion designers in NewActon’s trendy Nishi foyer from September.
“The idea to access innovative, handmade fashion had actually been brewing for a while, but really kicked off after Fashfest,” Tegan says.
“I went there, had my mind blown by these amazing designers, but didn’t know where I could buy the clothes. So I thought, ‘well what next?’”
The markets, which will run on a quarterly basis, will include stalls hired by local fashion designers selling handmade and vintage clothes and accessories, with all profits going towards the designers themselves.
There will also be several live music acts and a pop-up bar courtesy of Nishi’s new cafe, A. Baker.
“I don’t want this to be just a market, I want it to be so much more – I want it to be a market with atmosphere and attitude,” says Tegan.
“On the one hand, I want to give Canberrans more access to quality, one-of-a-kind fashion, particularly that of our local designers.
“On the other hand, I want to support our homegrown designers by giving them the opportunity to connect with their buyers on a more personal level and build up a strong support base in Canberra.”
Local designer Andie Meredith, who will be selling items from her self-titled label at the markets, says she “leapt” at the chance to get involved.
“I think the way it’s going to be presented is very exciting, especially in a building like Nishi,” she says.
“NewActon is a very creative, emerging precinct and to personally have a connection with my customers and get their feedback, is a very special thing.”
Hustle & Scout, September 21, 4pm-9pm, in the Nishi Foyer, NewActon. Entry is free. For designers wanting to hire a stall, visit hustleandscout.com.au. Applications to trade close August 11.
PHOTO: “Hustle & Scout” founder Tegan McAuley (right) with local designer Andie Meredith… Photo by Brent McDonald