Receiving news that you have made it into the top ten of the AINYFF doesn’t come without two things- hard work and the inevitable… stress. Having just completed my Bachelor of Fashion a few days prior to the announcement, I had a feeling that this could possibly be more important than all of my University assessment’s combined. Hearing my name read out as the 2011 recipient, was not only a surreal experience but it was a realisation of a goal I had set a year earlier when I first heard about the AINYFF internship program. New York had for a long time represented all my aspirations in one, a cultural and creative capital luring people from all corners of the globe to one little island. Put quite simply, I wanted to work alongside the best in the industry.
The AINYFF prize itself is amazing; it allowed me to put aside the obvious financial and logistical realities of interning and concentrate on working at one of my most respected design teams, Proenza Schouler. The confidence that the judges showed in choosing me was an affirmation that I will never forget. Like any creative pursuits, design is highly personal, and to have respected industry professionals recognize my work made me even more determined to trust my instincts and pursue my career with all my heart.
Proenza Schouler gave me an insight into the industry that I could never have received at home. I was proud to be so closely involved with the team and to see the development of the collection from its beginnings. To observe Jack and Lazaro’s dedication to their label and their colleagues was heartening. The fact that they were genuinely great people to work for made it even more satisfying. During my six-month internship I grew more confident in my abilities. Being such a long way from home, doubts do creep in. You wonder if you are prepared to compete internationally. I realise now that this is not the case, and once you get past the ‘small’ factor of geography, you soon realize you’re on the same page as everyone else. The world is actually a lot smaller than you think and anything is possible. I always believed that, but now I know it to be a reality.
I would like to send a huge and heartfelt thank you to the judges, board members, sponsors and supporters of the foundation, some of Australia’s finest exports. Special thanks goes to Brana Wolf, Malcolm Carfrae and Julie-Anne Quay. I can’t put into words how grateful I am to the founders for utilising their position as industry leaders to help foster the next generation of “creative’s”. All involved genuinely want to pass on the incredible knowledge and experience that has propelled them forward in their own careers. In typical Aussie fashion they want to lend a hand to ensure young Australian’s like myself, get a “leg up” at the critical, initial stages of one’s career.
A special thanks goes to Georgia Lazzaro, last year’s recipient, I can only hope that I will be able to offer the same level of support to this year’s winner! To this years finalists, I wish you all the very best of luck. Give it everything you’ve got- you just never know what might happen! The AINYFF has fostered alumni that have spread across the globe who, without doubt, will be the future faces of not only Australian, but also International Fashion.