12 finalists announced for The National Graduate Showcase presented by Target to showcase their collections at Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival

12 Finalists have been announced ahead of launching their exclusive debut collections in The National Graduate Showcase presented by Target at Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival in March. (VAMFF)

VAMFF Festival CEO, Graeme Lewsey, said over 130 students across the country applied for the program, and twelve finalists were selected.

“We were inundated with students wanting to be part of the National Graduate Showcase this year and we have selected twelve talented finalists,” Mr Lewsey said.

“We are thrilled by the calibre of this year’s graduate’s and excited to share their creativity with Festival attendees. The National Graduate Showcase provides students with a platform to gain valuable industry experience. It’s important that we continue to support emerging talent to ensure the steady growth of Australian fashion.”

The opportunity is an incredible opportunity for graduates to launch themselves to market as well as a commercial opportunity.

 12 Graduates selected Erica Deluchi, Donald Chung, Megan McGrath, Monique Duggan, Lauren Accia

The 2015 selected graduates to appear in the National Graduate Showcase at VAMFF

Fashion Initiative took a moment to chat with Target’s Womenswear General Manager – Gillian Ridley Whittle to discuss the offering to these lucky graduates.

FI: It is fantastic initiative the National Graduate Showcase, what prompted Target to get involved and behind this?

GRW: This is a prestigious program and Target are always on the hunt for emerging design talent and the NGS platform is a great way to discover the next big thing. It is a launching pad for young designers giving them an incredible opportunity to showcase what they can do in front of consumers, fashion decision-makers and industry experts at the Festival, as you say a great initiative that Target are thrilled to be presenting partners of. 

FI: What do you look for in these graduates when selecting?

GRW: We look for a number of things but mainly we need to ask ourselves: Do the graduates designs and personality speak to a mass consumer market and with that the Target customer? ]Do they show Innovation? Do their designs have the legs to carry consistent success in such a competitive market? We are really confident that our 12 finalists all represent these qualities.

FI: How many years has this been going for? 

GFW: This is our second year as presenting partner of the National Graduate Showcase, and the second time we will be selecting a finalist to work with Target on a collaboration

FI: Offering a $25,000 prize to the winner and an opportunity to do a capsule collection in Target is a fantastic way for students to understand a commercial reality to the industry, have you had much feedback from Gabrielle Brown, 2014’s winner about her experience?

GFW: Yes, we love Gabrielle. She was with us when we officially announced this year’s finalists and she excelled during her time with us at Target. Her capsule collection was a great success through the Designer for Target program, if you are quick you might be able to nab the last few pieces – target.com.au  

 FI: Who essentially is the key target customer? 

GFW: We speak to all Australians, however have found that women 25-54 years old are our main customer

A judging panel of industry included Ms Ridley Whittle, Mr Lewsey, Designer Yeojin Bae, Stylist Kate Gaskin and Head of Designers for Target Anthony Pecora chose this year’s finalists.

As part of the the 2015 National Graduate Showcase, Target will again offer a $25,000 grant to one successful finalist and the opportunity to design a one-off Target capsule collection in 2015.

The recipient of this additional prize will be announced in April, and will be selected by the Designers for Target panel.

To view the finalists go to our Facebook Page

The 12 National Graduates Finalists included are:

Alexandra Louise Champion Hackett

A.L.C.H.

Footscray, VIC

RMIT

Natalie Kieleithner

Natalie Kieleithner

Glen Waverley, VIC

RMIT

Lauren Acciarito

Lauren Acciarito

Victoria

RMIT

April Yap

April Yap

Birchgrove, NSW

University of Technology Sydney

Donald Chung

Donald Chung

Strathfield South, NSW

University of Technology Sydney

Erica Deluchi

Erica Deluchi

Haberfield, NSW

University of Technology Sydney

Felicity Gleeson

Felicity Gleeson

Freshwater, NSW

University of Technology Sydney

Megan McGrath

meg&n

Baulkham Hills, NSW

University of Technology Sydney

Monique Duggan

OPTIC

Kangaroo Point, NSW

University of Technology Sydney

Rachael Zheng

Rachael Zheng

Cherrybrook, NSW

University of Technology Sydney

Sofie The

Sofie Teh

Glenorie, NSW

University of Technology Sydney

Vanessa Emirian

Vanessa Emirian

Beecroft, NSW

University of Technology Sydney

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