Fashion Graduate Opportunities, UTS Alumni


From this site, I found the graphic designer for Twitter's Fail Whale illustration, YiYing Lu. She graduated from UTS Visual Communications with 1st Class Honors as well as BA Honors in Graphic Design (Exchange Studies) at Central Saint Matins (CSM). She has a widely prolific set of academic as well as industry accomplishments including lecturer at UTS, and running her own company, through to translator (English, Mandarin) for Maybelline New York and design exhibitions. Here is her LinkedIn profile. It would be a good idea to start your own. http://www.linkedin.com/in/yiyinglu

It also goes to show how successful social networking websites are in launching someone's career.

Also profiled as a successful UTS Alumi is Jesskia Allen, owner and designer of the international swimwear label, Jets. She completed a B Design in Fashion Design at UTS and progressed to postgraduate study in Tailoring at Institutio Maragoni in Milan.

Sophie Nixon, Senior Head Designer at Sass&Bide was also an Alumi of UTS. Graduating from UTS B Design in Fashion Design as a mature-age student in 2006 she had worked in various industries and undergone volunteer work experience before settling down in her current. Here is what the UTS Alumi website says:
Creative from a young age, Nixon says, "It wasn't until I travelled overseas that I realised the fashion and costume industry was where my talents could be expressed." Now Senior Designer at Australian fashion house sass & bide, Nixon worked hard for years to accrue experience in one of the most competitive industries in the world. "I worked on theatre, music video productions and TV and did a lot of volunteer work experience." She completed her B. Design in Fashion and Textiles at UTS as a mature-age student in 2006 and landed costume design work on The Boy from Oz and Priscilla Queen of the Desert shortly after - "both dazzling opportunities". Later, she cut her fashion teeth as Designer Coordinator in the launch of a new menswear fashion label, FrisoniFinetti. "It was a massive challenge - perfect for an ambitious graduate." Nixon has now been with sass & bide for two years. "I just went on an inspiration trip to Buenos Aires and we are now starting to design the next ranges for Spring/Fall 2010, which will be presented at London Fashion Week in September."

See more information on the new Creative Industries Innovation Center:
And the Australian Business Arts Foundation:
http://www.abaf.org.au/ provides information on business arts voluntering as well.

See also:
Where UTS graduates go: http://scmapp.itd.uts.edu.au/scm/gdsw
graduate Design show: http://www.dab.uts.edu.au/design/graduate-show/fashion.html

Below is a link to the UTS Design Graduates who have gone onto great careers. http://www.dab.uts.edu.au/design/for/future-students/graduate-profiles.html

Amanda Harvey - Bachelor of Design in Fashion & Textiles
When did you graduate?
I graduated in 1998.

What are you doing now?
For the past 3 years I have been the Senior Womenswear Designer at Wrangler
Europe. I focus mainly on denim design and the design of a Premium
collection. Plus, I have a tops designer and design assistant that report to
me. The European head office of Wrangler is based just outside Antwerp,Belgium which is where I live at the moment.

What's the best thing about the job?
I love the travel and I love working with denim, going on site to laundries
in Turkey, Poland and Italy, meeting denim mills, developing new fabrics
especially for Wrangler and being so involved in making sure the final
collection looks as I imagined.Plus I have the opportunity to work with great people from all over the world.

What's your best advice to upcoming designers?
Never feel like its impossible to work whereever and for whoever you want!
For almost 9 years now I have been living in Europe, before Belgium I was in
Italy, and if someone had said to me whilst I was studying that I would work
in Europe I would have thought that was impossible.

However, after graduating I entered a competition (one which UTS encouraged me to do!) that gave me the chance to get my foot in the door at Diesel in Italy, and even
though at times it felt like an uphill battle in another language and
culture it led to many different opportunities and experiences. Just have
confidence in what you do and really push to get yourself out there!!

See also Lee Mattews

Lancome colour design awards;

On Tuesday 24 April 2007, Lancôme and the University of Technology, Sydney celebrated the 3rd Lancôme Colour Designs Awards at the Great Hall, Sydney University, with an opulent fashion show and black tie dinner for 150 VIP guests.

The Great Hall was transformed for the occasion: 600 fresh South American Roses were flown in to adorn tables draped in soft white organza and flanked by crystal Philippe Stark Louis ghost chairs.

On 24 November 2006, students from UTS were briefed on the inspiration behind the Spring/Summer 2007 make-up collection “Pop Cherub” for Lancôme by Gucci Westman Neville, Lancôme's talented International Director for make-up. Lancôme and UTS - Fashion & Textiles program team selected 12 students to undertake the project and present their spectacular work at the Lancôme Colour Designs Awards judging day on 19 April 2007.

The Lancôme Colour Designs Awards judging panel, comprised of Akira Isagowa, Alex Perry, Alex Zabotto-Bentley, Alison Gwilt, Arthur Galan, Belinda Seper, Gail Elliott, Jayson Brunsdon, Jody Oliver, Josh Goot, Louise Olsen, Nick Leary, Sarah-Jane Clark, Susien Chong, and Ursula Hugnagl.

Congratulations to our winners:

The Lancôme Colour Designs Award for Colour & Texture - Lee Matthews

The Lancôme Colour Designs Award for Innovation - Laura Prideaux

The Lancôme Colour Designs Award for Modern Femininity - Robby Tjia

The three winners fly to Paris, France on 19 May 2007 to participate in the Lancôme Colour Designs Awards World Final event on 22 May 2007 at the renowned Hotel Crillon. They will be accompanied by Senior lecturer in Fashion & Textiles, Val Horridge.

The world final will include 10 competing countries including France, UK and Canada.
Pictures: http://www.zeduce.org/images/fashion/lancome/lancome.htm !!!!!!!!!
Image of RAFW featuring Dion Lee, winner of the Australian Fashion Graduate of the Year award 2007

Emma Scott-Child - Bachelor of Design in Visual Communication
UTS Visual Communication graduate Emma Scott-Child has been announced a finalist in the Visual category of 2008's Qantas Spirit of Youth Awards.

The 28 year old photographer, is currently working in London working in the world of book design creating art books for the famous Damien Hirst.

When did you graduate?
What have you been doing since and where are you working now?
I went from UTS straight into art directing a women's fashion
magazine, Yen. I was thrown in the deep end a bit, but I was lucky I did it because it meant I didn't have to spend years as a junior making mock ups like most designers do.

After that I freelanced as an art director and designed Black+White magazine, and started SummerWinter Magazine with a group of other mag lovers.

I ran my own studio in Sydney for a few years mainly doing work for fashion brands
like Industrie and Mossimo and lots of album covers. Then as an art director at Spin Communications I designed campaigns for Portmans and

For the last 18 months I've been living in London working for POP Magazine, Man About Town and with Damien Hirst designing art books.

What industry recognition have you been awarded thus far?
I won two AGDA awards in 2006 for Magazine Design and Packaging Design.

Also in 2006 I won the British Council's Realise Your Dream Award which brought me to London and most recently I won the Qantas Spirit of Youth Award.

I think the best achievements though are finishing projects that make you feel good and that you're proud of.

What's your favourite thing about your job?
I'm quite sentimental - so having something at the end of a project that you can hold in your hand and say, 'I made that' is really nice. That's what I love about print design, I'm slowly filling a bookshelf with my life's work.

What did you get out of the course at UTS?
It made me look at things in a different way, jumping straight into a project usually leads you down the most obvious path, so I learnt the value of conceptualising right from the beginning.

I had some good lecturers who would question everything we did "Why is it blue? Why is it square? Why that typface?" so you had to have reasons for every aspect of your design. This is SO valuable for real commercial jobs because clients ask all of those questions and you need to have answers for them all.

What's some advice to upcoming students?
Listen to your lecturers no matter how daft they sound. We had a guy who everyone thought was insane but his lectures had us thinking and arguing for the rest of the week and I still remember them.

Think of graduating as the beginning of something, not the end of something. It's when the real work begins. For my final project I had six months to design a magazine, then in my first job I had less than a month to do it all again.

Remember that no one expects you to be an expert straight away. You're more to likely impress people with creative enthusiasm and a willingness to learn than knowing every typeface of the 20th century off by heart.

Yiying Lu - Bachelor of Design in Visual Communication

Photo by Starry Image
When did you graduate?
I graduated from UTS in 2007.

What have you been doing since?
I have been running my own illustration & graphic design studio Yiying Lu. I'm also a design academic/tutor at the UTS.

One of my best-known works so far is the iconic Fail Whale illustration for social networking service Twitter, which has been recently featured in the New York Times Magazine and on CNN.

Since graduating from UTS, I have also been fortunate enough to be named one of 100 Emerging Leaders in Innovation by The Weekend Australian and have attended its presentation ceremony hosted by the Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, at Parliament House in Canberra.

I was also awarded first place in Design category of the Shorty Awards, held in New York in early 2009.

In 2008 I won the Gold Award in the "TransLocalMotion" Shanghai Biennale - International Students Exhibition in Shanghai, China and Best Student Portfolio winner in Desktop Create Awards in Melbourne, Australia.

What's the best thing about your job?
What I love about being a designer is always being inspired, getting new ideas and connecting with people via designs.

What's your best memory during your time at UTS?
1) Living in UTS housing. It was a fun & friendly place to live.
2) Being awarded AGDA (Australian Graphic Design Association) distinction student award in digital media
3) Being able to go exchange at Central Saint Martins School of Art and Design in London which was a wonderful experience.

What's your advice to current design students?
Have a smile on the mind and be passionate of what you do. If sometimes you're running out of ideas or inspirations do something different - go and buy a new CD or head to the park. If you're in a generally good state of mind, it's much easier to be creative and enjoy the process.

What's good about studying in Australia?

Australia is a diverse and exciting country. Apart from being a great place to get a good education, it provides a safe, welcoming and multicultural living environment. It also offers great climates & opportunities for fantastic travel and sightseeing experiences throughout the country.

Jenny Mercian - Bachelor of Fashion & Textiles

Jenny Mercian Backstage at
Victoria's Secrets Show
When did you graduate?
I graduated in 2001.

What are you doing now?
I am about to head to London to further my career in Haute Couture
which is my passion. I am also about to commence work on another Victoria's
Secret show, designing and hand crafting one off creations.

What companies have you worked alongside?
I've worked for companies such as Swarovski international,
Victoria's Secret and MAC cosmetics creating special couture jewelled pieces
for shows and adverting campaigns.

What's the best thing about the job?
Creative freedom. I am lucky that my clients have total faith in my
designing and making abilities, they let me go crazy with my ideas. I do
have briefs to follow, but the rest is up to me, which is fantastic as a

What's your best advice to upcoming designers?
My best advice to an upcoming designer is to have someone you trust
to handle the business side of things, so you can focus your energy on
creating, which is extremely important for the business and for yourself.

Donna Sgro - Bachelor of Design in Fashion & Textiles

Work From Donna's Strange Games
Spring/Summer 2008/09 Collection
When did you graduate?
I finished my course at the end of 2006, graduated May 2007.

Tell us a little about where you've been since UTS
Upon leaving UTS I was keen to start my own fashion label so I've been working at getting this established since early 2007.

Starting my own business had been a long term goal before starting the course at UTS. I have been on a steep business learning curve ever since!

What are you doing now?
I am still working at building my business and expanding my skills. I am currently organising production for my second commercial range of garments for Spring/Summer 2008/09.

What's the best thing about your career currently?
The best thing about my career is that it is self-directed and I am in a position where I can design products that have a unique and individual aesthetic.

What's your advice to up and coming fashion students?
Take the opportunity to learn, experiment and research as much as possible through the course at UTS so you can build a great portfolio by the time you leave.

I also found it really helpful to do some work experience while I was at uni, to gain an insight of what goes on in the day to day fashion world in Sydney.

To find out more about Donna Sgro, visit her website donnasgro.com or check out her recent interview on 2threads.

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