Fashion Designer | 2011 London, United Kingdom
“This scholarship opportunity got me packing my bags and heading to London where I landed a role with an international fashion label – it was an amazing experience.”
In 2007 I obtained an Advanced Diploma of Textiles, Clothing and Footwear from Metropolitan South Institute of TAFE whilst working for high-end fashion label Easton Pearson. I finished top of my class and was awarded a scholarship to travel to Italy to undertake a Short Masters in Art and Fashion at the acclaimed Polimoda Institute in Florence.
When I returned to Queensland I commenced work at Billabong as ‘Ladies Garment Designer’, it was then a former lecturer of mine told me about the Queensland Overseas Foundation (QOF) Scholarship, and I knew I had to apply.
“Having worked as a garment designer for one of the world’s largest youth labels – it was now time to take this knowledge to the international level and learn more.”
Knowing I had the support of the QOF with heading overseas with my career was so reassuring.
Travelling, working and studying overseas has meant so much for my designing career to date. “It has allowed me to gain perspective on not only your work/designs, but on Australia as a whole and our position in the fashion industry in the world.
I’ve studied in Italy and worked in London, and both have given me invaluable tools for lasting in the fashion industry”. You need top quality materials, exceptional customer service, clean and consistent branding, packaging and marketing and above all unique product. These international experiences have shown me that each country has it’s own strengths of products they can provide.
Australian’s excel in our swim, street and relaxed lifestyle take on fashion. So this is where I focused my energies when I started my own label.
Through these international experiences I have been so fortunate to have received some exceptional advice. During my time at Antipodium the Creative Director Geoffrey Finch gave me some advice on what I should do when I return home and start my own label. He said “go and work in a retail store, I’ve never had any formal fashion training in my life, except working in retail. It gets you out there with the customers, allowing you to understand their needs, wants and how they like to buy”.
So I did just that, and spent the first 12 months of my business working in retail and I couldn’t agree with him more. It is the best on-the-job ‘practical’ training you’ll get.