From boardrooms to farms and finally to fashion: Johnny Szymanski has travelled a fascinating journey leading up to his enrolment at RMIT.
Following a move from the corporate boardrooms of London to the pony farms of New Zealand, Mr Szymanski finally settled in Melbourne, enrolling in the Master of Fashion (Entrepreneurship) program.
It was after the 2008 global financial crisis that Mr Szymanski threw away his successful London-based public relations career - where he worked with internationally renowned brands such as Mercedes, Warner Bros and Amazon - and took the first steps on his path to Australia.
A brief stint training polo ponies in New Zealand followed, before he relocated to regional New South Wales, a move that would form the genesis of his fashion career.
While in NSW, Mr Szymanski he heard stories of the famous 19th century local sheep shearer, Jackie Howe.
Howe, who to this day holds a number of Australian manual blade shearing records, was said to have invented the singlet to protect his back from "the chill" while he worked.
The stories inspired Mr Szymanski's Sheep Shearer label, which includes a range of minimally designed male singlets, t-shirts, hooded jumpers and caps.
"I've always had an interest in design and fashion," he said.
"A clothing label was something that I thought about from a relatively young age."
The Sheep Shearer label is relaxed and down to earth.
He said he decided to study at RMIT's Fashion and Textiles because of its reputation as a leading global fashion institute.
"The teaching staff are excellent and have taken a very keen interest in my career and my label," he said.
"The facilities available to students are incredible and the hands-on nature of the course is brilliant."
He said the program was "exactly what I was looking for", because it covered disciplines such as buying, merchandising and marketing.
"The program is more about the business of fashion, which can open so many doors for me within the industry," he said.
Legendary shearer and inventor of the singlet Jackie Howe inspired the label.
Master of Fashion (Entrepreneurship) Program Manager, Kate Kennedy, said Mr Szymanski had shown all the qualities of a "budding and successful fashion entrepreneur".
"He has built a unique collection of garments and his approach to building his brand embodies the attributes that RMIT seeks to instil in Master of Fashion Entrepreneurship students," she said.
Sheep Shearer will be presented at the 2014 Fashion Aid gala on Saturday, 13 September, at Crown Casino, Melbourne.
All proceeds from Fashion Aid will go towards men's health charity Love Me Love You.
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