Target have announced RMIT University fashion graduate, Gabrielle Brown, is the winner of the inaugural Target Graduate Design Award – one of the most lucrative fashion prizes in Australia.
Target selected Miss Brown from the 12 finalists of the 2014 Virgin Australian Melbourne Fashion Festival National Graduate Showcase, of which they are presenting partner, and awarded her a $25,000 prize and the opportunity to design a capsule collection for the ‘Designers For Target’ program.
Miss Brown, 23, of Melbourne said winning the award was a dream come true.
“It is an amazing feeling to win this award and it makes the three years of hard work to get to this point worth it,” she said. “I am excited to work with Target and design a commercial collection for Australian women – it is the best opportunity any young designer could hope for in their career.”
Miss Brown completed a Bachelor of Design (Fashion) at RMIT University last year and her winning womenswear collection, Kinesis, explores the fusion of modern design and technology with movement.
Target Managing Director, Stuart Machin, said the proudly Australian brand was committed to supporting emerging local fashion designers and was thrilled to offer the winning graduate the once-in-a-lifetime career boost.
“Gabrielle’s collection featuring flowing silhouettes with 3D printing was innovative and a standout on the runway,” he said. “Over many years, we have successfully collaborated with fashion designers locally and internationally through the ‘Designers for Target’ program, and Gabrielle is a serious talent, who will be joining this exclusive list. We are excited to see the creative energy and ideas that she will bring to her capsule collection. As an Australian company who has been a leader in retail in this country for over 80 years and is today part of over 300 communities, we are very proud to invest in the future of the local fashion industry, and to help fantastic young designers like Gabrielle launch their career.”
The ‘Designers for Target’ program has seen the retailer work with international fashion designers such as Stella McCartney and Roberto Cavalli and most recently announced a Petites collection with Australian fashion and music icon, Dannii Minogue.
Ms Brown’s capsule collection for the ‘Designers for Target’ program will be available later in the year.
The 2014 National Graduate Showcase presented by Target, is an initiative of the Virgin Australian Melbourne Fashion Festival (VAMFF), with the 12 finalists showing their collections during last month’s festival.
Finalists for Target’s Graduate Design Award were shortlisted by a popular vote via an online poll on Target’s website, and by key criteria including design that is reflective of trend, and is appropriate to the Target customer. Ms Brown’s winning collection was selected by a panel of judges, including Mr Machin and VAMFF CEO, Graeme Lewsey.Mr Lewsey said the finalists for the 2014 National Graduate Showcase were of an extremely high standard, demonstrating that the future of the fashion industry is in great hands.
“Target Australia is one of the country’s leading retailers and is providing an incredible opportunity for Gabrielle to be mentored by their experienced team, and giving her $25,000 to help launch her design career – it is an amazing prize, particularly for a young designer who is just starting out,” he said.