Two RMIT graduates will spend 2015 learning from the world’s leading fashion figures after winning prestigious global internships and $20,000 grants from the Australian Fashion Foundation.
The Bachelor of Design (Fashion) (Honours) graduates Alexander Kelvy and Grace Butterworth won both major prizes awarded by the AUSFF in its annual internship program.
They graduates were each awarded $20,000 and will be offered six-month internships at renowned fashion houses in the United States or Europe.
Past grant winners have interned at Calvin Klein and Proenza Schouler (New York) and Alexander McQueen (London).
RMIT fashion graduates have won the award four times since it was established in 2009, including inaugural winner Georgia Lazzaro, currently working for Calvin Klein in New York, and Natasha Fagg (2012), now with Alexander McQueen in London.
This year, Mr Kelvy was successful in the menswear category, while Ms Butterworth won for womenswear.
Mr Kelvy said the internship success was encouraging and empowering.
“It’s a great honour to have had the opportunity to present my work to such an esteemed panel of judges,” he said.
Ms Butterworth said now the win had “sunk in”, she felt really happy and proud of her achievement.
“I’m very excited about the opportunities the scholarship has given me that I might otherwise struggle to obtain,” she said.
“It's a huge step forward and I'm so thankful that this scholarship exists for emerging Australian designers.”
She said the creative freedom her RMIT degree provided was influential in her success.
“The program was excellent, they really encourage students to look at the way they design from many different viewpoints,” she said.
The internship award runner-up was Max Thomas Sanderson, also a 2014 graduate of RMIT’s Bachelor of Design (Fashion) (Honours).
The award attracted the brightest up-and-coming fashion talent from across Australia.
Competition judges said the winners had distinguished themselves as exceptional creative talent, with their submissions displaying originality and innovation.
Professor Robyn Healy, Head of the School of Fashion and Textiles, said the double win was testament to the hard work and dedication of the honours students and the program’s unique global approach to challenging ideas around fashion.
"The AUSFF is an exceptional platform that propels students into the top global playing field,” she said.
“To have two students take out the top prize highlights their dedication and passion for design.”
The Australian Fashion Foundation is a not-for-profit aimed at helping young Australians gain world class, practical international experience in the fashion and creative industries.
Images courtesy of the Australian Fashion Foundation.