A development program for local designers is paying off, with 10 upcoming designers now getting ready to showcase their creations at the Gold Coast Swim Fashion Festival late next month.
The festival is helping to establish the Gold Coast as a creative, educational and performance hub for swim and resort fashion in Asia.
Supported by the City of the Gold Coast, the Emerging Designers Program provides for a series of mentoring and development workshops.
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Acting Mayor Donna Gates said the City’s support for the program related to some of the aims of the Economic Development Strategy.
“These aims are about developing competitive business environments, creating a thriving cultural economy that attracts talent and investment, and a highly skilled workforce that meets the needs of business and industry,” she said.
“I’m most impressed by the creativity that’s clearly evident among the local designers selected for the program and I wish them every success in their careers.”
The workshops start this month and include seminars on marketing internationally, managing budgets, planning for growth and the pitfalls of productions.
The young designers also gain experience and exposure through participating at an international fashion event, including working with hair and make-up artists, models, catwalk routines, photographers, lighting and music.
As part of the five-day festival, the emerging designers will enter a selection of their range to be shown on stage at the Gala Awards on 23 November.
Designer Becky Jack, who established her Peony label 18 months ago, said although she had a business degree, she needed the industry experience she couldn’t glean from textbooks.
“As the brand grows, economies of scale are important so I’m looking forward to learning about manufacturing and getting some hands on lessons,” she said.
Anna Kempshall, owner of Annake Swimwear, was a local swimwear manufacturer for many years before she made the leap into designing three years ago.
“The festival provides a great platform for both emerging and established designers to showcase their labels while the seminars are especially helpful to someone like me because I’m on a big learning curve,” she said.
Festival Organiser Leanne St George said the festival had more than 50 designers of all levels participating in fashion shows this year, from premier labels from around Australia to the student and emerging designer awards program.
“It is a great celebration of the Gold Coast’s iconic climate and lifestyle,” she said.
The Gold Coast Swim Fashion Festival runs from 19 – 23 November. For information visit www.goldcoastswimfashionfestival.com.au also www.moregoldcoast.com.au/gold-coasts-swim-fashion-festival