RMIT University fashion graduate Gabrielle Brown will see her designs in stores after winning the inaugural Target Graduate Design Award.
The Bachelor of Design (Fashion) (Honours) graduate was awarded a $25,000 prize and the opportunity to design a capsule collection for the "Designers For Target" program.
Miss Brown was chosen from the 12 finalists in the 2014 Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival National Graduate Showcase, which featured a total of seven RMIT fashion alumni.
She said winning the award was a dream come true.
"It is an amazing feeling to win this award and it makes the four 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."
Ms Brown's winning womenswear collection, Kinesis, explores the fusion of modern design and technology with movement.
A piece from Miss Brown's winning collection, Kinesis. Photo: Bonnie Hansen.
Her capsule collection for the "Designers for Target" program will be available later this year.
Target Managing Director, Stuart Machin, said the 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."
Associate Professor Karen Webster, Deputy Head of the Fashion and Textiles, said the opportunity for Miss Brown to work with Target was indicative of a major cultural shift in the global fashion environment.
"Large scale retailers like Target, with their breadth of expertise and global networks, bring an amazing opportunity for the next generation of designers like Gabrielle," she said.
Fluidity and silhouettes within the designs explored the idea of kinetic motion. Photo: Bonnie Hansen.
"Through design innovation and manufacturing technologies, Gabrielle has the chance to share her creative energy and the knowledge garnered in the Bachelor of Fashion (Design) Honours program at RMIT."
The "Designers for Target" program has seen the retailer work with international fashion designers such as Stella McCartney and Roberto Cavalli as well as Australian fashion and music icon, Dannii Minogue.
The 2014 National Graduate Showcase presented by Target, is an initiative of the Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival (VAMFF).
Finalists for the 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 company's 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 was 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.
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