Melanie and Dean Flintoft are co-founders of Australian Fashion Labels (AFL) - an innovative international fashion business, AFL offers contemporary fashion and affordable luxury apparel across its now five in-house labels.
Growing up in a family that led a successful Adelaide-based fashion agency, Melanie’s career in fashion was a natural progression. She began sourcing quality garments for her chain of Adelaide retail stores Locco (now Birdcage Boutique), which fed her inspiration to eventually create her own label, Little Potty Red Shoes - founded 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 more ambitious 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 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 for them to launch the AFL business. Under their newly created business, Melanie and Dean introduced the company’s first label, Finders Keepers. With its focus on quality and on-trend pieces with transeasonal 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 the Label 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 retailer - BNKR.
As our labels grow, our team constantly challenge themselves to deliver directional and innovative collections that will impact, and essentially mould, the future of fashion. The company remains head quartered in Adelaide, South Australia, and now employs over 100 staff worldwide.