Abstract Summary

Australian Fashion Directions
Getting it Right – Incubating Talent And Sustaining Success

International Specialised Skills Institute Victorian Government/ Tafe Fellowship (ISS Institute) European, U.K and U.S.A insights.

The International Experience – Destination highlights:
  • NY Designs, Design Business Center, Long Island City, New York, USA;
  • Garment Industry Development Corporation (GIDC), New York, USA;
  • Centre of Excellence, Design and Textiles Incubator, Huddersfield, UK;
  • Fashion Design and Technology Centre for Fashion Enterprise – London, UK;
  • Istituto Europeo Design (IED), Moda Lab, Milan, Italy.
A number of common factors were observed where the points of difference with the Australian situation were very clear.  These factors were largely cultural and attitudinal having sprung from historical, industrial and trade backgrounds quite different from those upon which modern Australian practices are based. In Italy, for example, the reverence and respect for master craftspeople and their work was particularly strong and in England there remains an influence of respected merchant and trade guilds behind many products and services.

It is from these attitudes and influences that lessons can be learnt or knowledge transferred.  Insights into understanding of First Class Talent and Skills Incubator s attracting the Best and Brightest and the importance, for successful new designers, of business skills meshed with creativity and personal characteristics such as stamina, high work ethic and coachability was apparent.

Business Profile
Sylvia Walsh
RMIT University

From the mid 1960s through the 1970s Sylvia worked in a wide range of design, product development, and merchandising roles in the fashion industry in Australia and overseas. She designed for mainstream international brands and also managed design projects for niche markets.  Sylvia worked in London and in Hong Kong and was involved in the development of trade with China through business initiatives out of Hong Kong.

For the past 25 years she has mentored many of Australia’s leading young fashion designers. Sylvia is a Fashion Design Teacher at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology University (RMIT). As the current President of the Textile Institute Southern Australian Section, Sylvia encourages industry partnering and networking.  She also represents the Paris American Academy (Paris). 

Sylvia has completed further studies in Paris and London and also has completed her Masters of Art in Textile Design. She presented at the International Foundation Fashion Technology Institutes (IFFTI) Conference in Toronto and London. Sylvia was the recipient of the 2007 International Specialised Skills Institute (ISS Institute) Victorian Government/ Tafe Fellowship involving her in an overseas research project to U.K, U.S.A and Italy.

4th International Fashion Incubators Conference : 21-25 October 2013
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