Melanie and Dean Flintoft are co-founders of Australian Fashion Labels (AFL).
Growing up in a family that ran a successful Adelaide-based fashion agency, Melanie’s career in fashion was a natural progression. She began sourcing quality garments for her early chain of Adelaide retail stores Locco (now Birdcage Boutique), inspiring her to eventually create her own label, Little Potty Red Shoes, in 2002. The label was high-end, locally-made and sold nationally – its success in the market providing a solid foundation for Melanie’s next venture.
Also growing up in a family business but not related to fashion, Dean’s career, following an economics degree went from accounting with Electrolux to National Sales and Marketing Manager for a large German furniture group Steinhof followed by a similar role for American group Meridian Home.
In 2007, Melanie and her husband, Dean, decided to close down Little Potty Red Shoes and invest all their assets into a larger, more ambitious project. Having both come from family businesses and with different but complimentary skills it felt like a natural progression to launch the AFL business for Dean and Melanie. Under their newly created business, Melanie and Dean introduced the company’s first label, Finders Keepers (now Finders). With its focus on quality and on-trend pieces with trans-seasonal appeal, the label truly flourished. The company has since introduced four other labels - namely C/MEO Collective in 2010, Keepsake in 2011, The Fifth in 2014 and Jaggar Footwear in 2016.
Each label has found global success in its own right by maintaining a strong focus on the core and unique aesthetic on which it was founded. Today, AFL has over 1,700 stockists worldwide as well as its own online, and bricks and mortar retailer - BNKR.
“AFL’s vision is to continue our aggressive, global growth - maintaining an understanding of all aspects of the rapidly evolving fashion market and continually adapting to deliver product that is both commercially and customer focused. AFL brands will continue to set the standard at the forefront of the industry, delivering product with a quality over price strategy.”