Arts and Design

Fashion diplomacy enhances links with Korea

Two young Australian designers have returned from Seoul Fashion Week under the second Australia-Korea Foundation Emerging Designer Exchange Program laden with new ideas and fashion contacts, and eager to host their Korean counterparts for Australian Fashion Week in May 2018.

QUT School of Fashion lecturer Melanie Finger led the visit with the Australian winners of the Emerging Designer competition, Nixi Killick whose brand is NXK and Hannah Kim of Haluminous.

Ms Finger said the exchange program, awarded to QUT in August 2017, is a DFAT funded grant that links QUT with Seoul National University and is supported by the Australia-Korea Foundation.

“This exchange program represents fashion diplomacy and the building of closer ties with the vibrant fashion industries of both countries,” Ms Finger said.

“Four emerging designers, two from each country chosen from nationwide applications, collaborate with and learn from each other, explore new techniques and methods and get an insight into fashion business in another country.

“They all visit the Seoul Fashion Week in March 2018 and Australian Fashion Week in May 2018.”

Ms Finger said the designers’ visit included tours of manufacturers of sports shoes and the Korean Institute of Industrial Technology to look at clothing developed for fire protection, jackets that convert to sleeping bags and garments that measure UV light.

“We toured the Accessories Market, a Government-funded designer showroom, and the Technical Training Centre as well as met many successful designers and visited innovative fashion retail stores and, of course, the shows at Soeul Fashion Week which were a highlight.

“Our next move is to promote the exchange program at BNE DESIGN – a curated marketplace for the Commonwealth Games at the Museum of Brisbane in April 2018. Our two Australian designers and the three from 2017’s exchange will exhibit and sell their designs at BNE DESIGN.”

Source: QUT

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