Passion for Fashion

Frankston might seem an unlikely breeding ground for one of the fashion industry’s hottest new names, but it all makes sense when Lukas Vincent tells his story.

The 32-year-old took his love of fashion and the Peninsula beach culture to create the Exinfinitas clothing label. Last month he won the $50,000 Woolmark Prize for the Australia-New Zealand region.

“I think the general demographic I grew up with meant life was very real and sometimes completely unfiltered,” Lukas says. “It was that idea I wanted to weave though my work.”

Lukas’s interest in fashion started from reading imported magazines, his only window into that world in the days before the internet. “Frankston certainly wasn’t the most ideal place to be interested in fashion.  I studied fashion by correspondence in year 11 and 12 and was really the only boy within miles that had this interest. At the same time, being secluded allowed me to form my own options and develop a craft in a highly personal way.”

The beach was a big part of his youth. “Surf culture is intimately woven into our psyche - I grew up only ever wearing Rip Curl, Mambo, Billabong etc. My dad was a surfer and being at the surf beach was always a part of my weekly ritual. So when it came to creating an international brand, I had to ask myself what it means to be Australian and what are the elements an overseas consumer would want from an Australian brand.  It’s certainly not a literal translation of a surf brand - up close you will see hidden details, fabrics, trims or colours which allude to surf without being cliche. And by blending all these elements with high-end tailoring, it becomes a much more refined offering.”

In launching Exinfinitas in 2013, Lukas drew on more than 12 years of invaluable fashion experience from around the world, beginning with Melbourne designer Bettina Liano and culminating in a four-year stint in New York.  Now the Woolmark Prize will help open more doors.

“The wide network of mentors and contacts Woolmark has access to now means I also have access to the same resources, so I’m incredibly fortunate. It will allow me to tackle anything going forward with compete confidence that I have full industry support behind me.”