What's next... for Fashion Tech

Meet two Associate Degree in Fashion Design and Technology students who are making the most of their time at RMIT.

Sophie Lavis showing off her winning designs for AFL apparel. Photography: AFL Photos. Sophie Lavis (left) showing off her winning designs for AFL apparel. Photography: AFL PHOTOS.

Sophie Lavis creates a female-focused Club accessory range for the AFL

The AFL, in conjunction with the Vintage Football Jumper Company, Woolmark and RMIT University, is pleased to release a new range of female-focused AFL Club accessories.

A host of up-and-coming design students from RMIT University were tasked with creating the new range of beanies and scarves to encourage women of all ages to feel comfortable and fashionable when supporting their AFL Club.

The winning artwork -- created by RMIT student Sophie Lavis -- features a woven design that symbolises the connection between the club and supporter.

The new range has been produced in Melbourne from 100% Australian Merino wool sourced from communities across the country as part of the Fibre of Football campaign, which celebrates the rich heritage connecting the Australian wool industry and Australian Football.

Kylie Rogers, AFL General Manager of Commercial, said the new apparel range would allow more fans to engage with Australian Football.

“Our research indicates that female football fans want three things in their supporter merchandise: colour, comfort and warmth. We believe the new range of beanies and scarves certainly meets the criteria.

“It’s pleasing to create a product, designed by a woman, that supports our local farmers and the Australian wool industry, with material sourced from communities across the country,” Ms Rogers said.

Winning designer Sophie Lavis, who studied an Associate Degree in Fashion Design and Technology at RMIT, said that it was a great experience to be able to create an accessory range for women.

“As a young and aspiring fashion designer, being selected as the winner for this competition is an unbelievable honour,” she said.

“It was an incredible experience to have the opportunity to contribute to something as uniquely Australian as the AFL. To have the chance to see my designs come to life is a dream come true.”


This story was originally written by the AFL and published by the Herald Sun. 

Clarissa Liem focusing on creating her pattern during the WorldSkills competition. Photography: James Robson. Clarissa Liem focusing on creating her pattern during the WorldSkills competition. Photography: James Robson.

Clarissa Liem embraces her 'WorldSkills' at RMIT

Associate Degree in Fashion Design and Technology student Clarissa Liem recently participated in a day-long regional WorldSkills competition that tested her patternmaking and sewing expertise.

Putting the skills developed through her Associate Degree to the test, the unique competition tasked Clarissa to design and create a matching top and skirt in one day.

The activity was part of WorldSkills – an initiative that runs skills-based tests in regions across Australia for vocational education students, including those studying fashion and visual merchandising. For Clarissa, WorldSkills was the perfect opportunity for her to show that she was willing to engage in extracurricular activities beyond her classwork.

“I’m yet to do any work experience, so I entered WorldSkills knowing that this could be the key to demonstrating my talent to potential employers. It shows I want to better my skills, which is really important!” she said.

When competing on the day, Clarissa did not consider it a test – rather, it was an enjoyable opportunity to see how much knowledge she’d built over the year of studying.

“We were working on things that we’d done throughout the degree, with our judges being teachers that we knew supported us, and with classmates who were our friends. It was a great day.”

Making the most of opportunities comes naturally for Clarissa. She moved from Indonesia to Australia when she was accepted into the Associate Degree at RMIT and has always embraced her time here.

“I love fashion and design, and my dad, who’s an architect, encouraged me to pursue a creative career. I decided to come to RMIT, which has a great reputation for fashion design.

“I’ve also loved living in Melbourne. I love the culture. When I first arrived, it felt like I was living in a dream.”

Studying at RMIT has been a transformative experience – Clarissa has learnt how to design complex patterns and create garments from scratch, from a foundation knowledge in drawing.

A stand out project was being able to design and construct a unique jacket, which took her and her classmates approximately six weeks to complete. It is the most ambitious garment she has ever produced, and one she still cannot believe was her own doing.

Clarissa sees the key to success in fashion design is a strong work ethic.

“Creating patterns and sewing complex pieces of work takes time. You also must be constantly developing new designs – which can be hard. You have to be determined."


Story: Alexandra Sayer


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RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business. - Artwork created by Louisa Bloomer