It is a long hard road to get your designs into finished product and hanging on the racks of Australian or International boutiques, and ten times harder if you are living in an isolated or regional part of Australia, but due to the efforts of the Textile Clothing and Footwear Resource Centre of Western Australia Inc. (TCFWA) and the Perth based Belmont Business Enterprise Centre Inc. - Small Business Centre Belmont (BBEC) many of Australia's aspiring designers are getting the assistance they need.
Carol Hanlon, Manager of TCF WA and Belmont BEC, is BEC Australia's Fashion Industry expert, having almost 40 years of experience both directly and indirectly within the Australian fashion industry. Carol operated her own fashion label and clothing factory in Geelong, Victoria for 20 years and appreciates many of the restraints of operating regionally based. Over the past 13 years Carol has run the Belmont BEC and 8 years ago also established TCFWA. The only TCF Resource Centre of its kind operating in Australia, Carol is constantly receiving requests for assistance from across Australia from women who do not know where to turn to get their garments or products over those many hurdles in developing their business in a complex and fast moving industry.
Barbara Matters, the designer behind the innovative indigenous label Karda Designs, is one of the many who has benefited from Carol's assistance.
"I have learnt a lot about the fashion industry and my business skills are developing through my constant networking with Carol" said Barbara. "Marketing my product has been easier and I have grown in confidence."
And Barbara's designs are extremely marketable. Each piece designed by Barbara and her daughter Kara is lovingly hand painted and made for storytelling in the traditional Australian Indigenous style. Barbara and Kara design their pieces to educate the wider community portraying the diversity of the Australian Aboriginal culture. Karda Designs produce a quality Indigenous product hand made by Indigenous women.
This label produces wearable art that is irreplaceable, sumptuous designs on sheer high quality silks which are then manufactured into silk scarves, wraps and sarongs. The designs help to explain the food resources of the Australian bush and the nomadic lifestyle of the original inhabitants. Each piece telling its own story with no two pieces the same.
Cristina Moldovan, another designer who has benefited from the assistance of Belmont BEC and the TCFWA will also be showing her collection at Fashion Exposed. Her label, Aime Cristie is based on passion and love - a passion for style, art and creation, for the love of beautiful clothes designed for beautiful women. The labels catch cry is, "Passionate Women, Passionate Clothes."
Her collection houses an eclectic range of cocktail wear, casual wear and gallery pieces with each designer piece being artistic, sensual, romantic, vintage and timeless. Her cocktail wear is inspired by her influences in younger years. The days of beautiful movie star women, days of glamour, elegance and grace. Some of her evening-wear shows off her artistic skills even further with hand painted detailing.
The Aime Cristie label has been sold to boutiques in Ireland and Amsterdam and was exhibited at international fashion events in Europe & Ireland. Most recently Cristina exhibited at World Boutique Hong Kong and the Preview showcase and was invited to represent Australia at the Silk International Festival in China with her exclusive artistic collection of original special occasion pieces.
Cristina attributes a great portion of her success to that assistance given by Carol and her team.
"All the team from TCFWA are very nice, loving people who understand the needs of a starting designer," said Cristina. "They give you advice and assist you with whatever problem you come to them with."
"Carol and her team are also responsible for designedge outlets created to sell our products, as well as the new shop online project. These are just a few of their many contributions to enhance our businesses."
To view the collections of Karda Designs, Aime Cristie or any other of the designers featured in the designedge online shop visit www.designedge.net.au
Designedge - TCF Australia designer showcase is proudly supported by the Australian Government under the TCF Small Business Program, Textile Clothing Footwear Resource Centre of Western Australia (TCFWA), Belmont BEC and designedge fashion incubator located at the Belmont Forum Shopping complex.
If you are an aspiring designer or interesting in retailing Australian designers, BEC Australia, through Belmont BEC/TCFWA can assist. Ask your local BEC about hosting a TCF forum or workshop - they are targeted to the textile, clothing, footwear and leather industry (TCF) which covers everything from fashion to blinds, tents, saddlery, schoolwear, manchester, carpets, rope etc (anything involving fibre or skin) and can be manufacturing, wholesale, retail and/or supporting services.
Interested to join the national TCF Australia Business Skills Project which is supported by the Australian Government under the Building Entrepreneurship in Small Business (BESB) program visit www.tcfaustralia.com or www.tcfwa.com