The future of fashion is in good hands in Brisbane with plenty of young visionaries set on forging a career in this most colourful of industries.
And on Tuesday they’ll have a chance to shine in an event of their own as part of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Festival Brisbane.
Queensland University of Technology student Joeli Kabu is among those who’ll be bringing his ideas to life on the runway for the NEXT Hotel Next Gen Group Show on August 29.
Kabu said he’s been hooked on fashion since his first home economics class in Year 8 – he’s been studying at university for four years now and has his heart set on a career in fashion.
“Fashion as a whole new world has always baffled me like magic,” he said.
“I’m glad I took two years off after high school to work on my style and dressing for some runway fashion shows.
“Meeting designers from Indonesia and Korea was a great highlight as well.
“But by far the greatest highlight of my student life is showcasing my collection in MBFF.”
Kabu will showcase two looks from his graduate collection, Akuma, which he says is heavily inspired by pop culture and Japanese Imperial Court wear.
While well-known, established businesses and brands will strut their stuff in this year’s runway shows – the Next Gen show is specifically for budding designers – both those still studying and those who have already made the leap into fashion as a career.
Alice Litzow falls into the latter category, having successfully launched her own swimwear and stretchwear brand, AlcieMay.
Litzow graduated from TAFE Queensland with an advanced diploma of fashion and technology and won the Supreme Award in the student category of the Gold Coast Swim Festival in 2013. She launched AlcieMay the following year.
“Since then I’ve released a range of activewear, with a strong focus on fit and comfort … and most recently I launched a range of rowing suits as well as producing rowing gear for some schools,” she said.
As her business grew, Litzow also found new avenues in the industry, manufacturing garments for other independent and emerging designers.
“For many labels, finding Australian manufacturers is a big obstacle so I am very pleased to be able to offer this service to my clients,” she said.
In the Next Gen show, Litzow will showcase three swimwear looks to be launched for summer.
“I’m also excited that MBFF has introduced the Shop The Runway Market – this will be a great way of promoting emerging labels.”
Some of Litzow’s range feature unique fabric prints using photos she takes herself.
“Each print has a story to tell,” she says.
Fashion co-ordinator at QUT Icaro Ibanez-Arricivita says the fashion industry these days is more challenging “but also more exciting than ever before.”
“The industry is changing very quickly embracing technology and sustainable practices and creating new jobs every year,” he said.
“It is a multibillion-dollar global industry with a wide variety of job opportunities from artistic to business and through textiles and production.”
The Next Gen show will feature QUT Fashion, Megan Cannings Designs, Bold, Moreno Marcos, Annalisse Designs, Platinum Plus, Mara Swim, Lydia James, Black and Bling, Brisbane School of Fashion, TAFE Queensland Brisbane and Isabelle Quinn and more. The event, at Old Government House, has sold out but all MBFF events will be live-streamed on the MBFF Facebook page.