Australian icon Betts has had a brand reset, and I’m impressed


The ultimate glow-up.

The years 2000 to about 2015 were what many of us would remember as the ‘golden years’ of the suburban Australian shopping centre. The shops functioned as a meeting place, a date spot, a fashion hub and – when Christmas or birthday money was on hand – a full-day activity. 

Dressed in a babydoll dress, gladiator sandals and a disproportionately large waist belt, my friends and I would fuel up on Muffin Break before browsing Supré’s wall-to-ceiling offering of slogan tees emblazoned with phrases like ‘I’m not short, I’m fun-sized’ and ‘Dear Santa… about last year’.

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Among the staple stores were usually gems like City Beach, Diva, Valleygirl and (most importantly) Betts. Established in 1892 (that’s well before forehead bands were a trend, for context), Betts is an iconic Australian footwear label loved for its affordable-yet-stylish selection of shoes for women, men and kids.

While reminiscing recently about a pair of wedge kitten heels I wore an illegal amount in 2007, I decided to check in with the girlies over at Betts. Would I stumble upon the second coming of knee-high gladiator sandals? 

While I didn’t find the shoes of my mid-2000s dreams, I did find some footwear that current me is going completely feral for. The brand’s recent reset (completely with a gorgini new Melbourne Central concept store) has catapulted Betts right into the contemporary fashion scene.

A freshly-launched campaign features content creator Alyssa Lee, model Aisha Risah and stylist Annie Brooks (aka Sausage Lord) wearing a selection of very fun shoes and accessories. 

In shades like emerald green, orange sherbert and electric pink, Betts’ new collection is a glorious mix of chunky Mary Janes, block-heel mules and soft boy-stomping double-platform ankle boots.

It’s one part Barbie, two parts Charlie’s Angels and zero parts sensible suburban shopping centre, which we love to see. Why did my housemates and I not consider matching pairs of neon-pink boots before? 

But don’t get it twisted – the new Betts isn’t one-note. Alongside the chunky platforms is a sleek collection of jewel-toned metallic heels, Balenciaga-esque pointed court shoes and preppy loafers. In the accessories department, the brand has created a range of trend-forward handbags to mirror the modern reset.

There’s a teeny-tiny purse to go with every colourful shoe, which is precisely the way it should be. The best part? The Betts glow-up isn’t just about the aesthetics. In line with Australia’s collective push towards a more sustainable fashion economy, Betts Group CEO Todd Wilner has made some positive changes.

In 2020, the brand went entirely vegan while announcing its eco-friendly diffusion line, Zeroe. Betts has subbed out leather for recycled materials and is now using algae as a raw material in the production of insoles and outsoles, contributing to the cleaning of 2,526,800 litres of water and the absorption of over 1,400kg of CO2 from the air (since launch).

So despite not being able to make a stop-in at Diva along the way (RIP), it might be worth considering a trip to your local Betts. Forehead accessories optional.

Discover more Betts goodness here.

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