Local Sydney Design College Makes Waves at China Graduate Fashion Week
Raffles College of Design and Commerce in Sydney have undertaken the first stages of a unique partnership with China Graduate Fashion Week, taking eight Raffles graduates to Beijing last week to showcase collections in front of Chinese industry and media heavyweights. Raffles was the first and only international institute to be welcomed to showcase at the prestigious event, which took place from April 23-28.
As part of a two-year strategic partnership with China Graduate Fashion Week announced by Raffles CEO Isaac Ng last month, Raffles were the official University partner for the prestigious event. Organized by China Fashion Association, China Textile and Apparel Education Society and China National Garment Association, the event attracted 610 graduates from 22 universities across China.
After a successful showing at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia (MBFWA) last month, Raffles continue to position themselves as a leading producer of young Australian Design talent. Chine Graduate Fashion Week, held each year in Beijing, includes fashion shows, design contests, press conferences, exhibitions, thematic forums, professional appraisals and scholarship selections.
For Raffles' first official showing in Beijing, eight graduates presented AW2015 collections in the group-show, The Raffles International Showcase. All eight designers chosen to take part were graduates from the Raffles North Sydney campus and traveled to China especially for the event. Event organisers praised the Raffles runway as one of the 'highlights" of the week, with the venue at capacity and Chinese media and international buyers in strong attendance.
Nicholas Comino, Fashion Design Program Director at Raffles North Sydney, attended the event in Beijing and was overwhelmed by the level of interest the global exchange between Raffles Sydney and China had generated already.
"Raffles Sydney made a big impression last week. The show has generated a rush of interest from local Chinese media, design school officials, creative industry chiefs, cultural attachés and the Beijing fashion aficionados. As a spectacle, we delivered a diverse and innovative range of collections that left a thrilling impression on the audience. We showed that Raffles is a design centre with international vision, and also a school that reflects what is best about local Aussie creativity," he said.
Alongside the runway showcase, The Raffles Graduate Forum (held on April 26) saw all eight Raffles designers take part in a unique panel discussion; sharing their experiences as emerging creatives with hundreds of Chinese graduates. Topics for discussion include studying aboard, launching a label, and the Australian versus Chinese Fashion industries.
A Raffles Scholarship Program, another unique tier to the strategic partnership was also announced. One full Masters degree scholarship and four half-scholarships were awarded to China Academy of the Arts, accepted by the Academy's Director Ms. Tao Yin at the closing ceremony on Monday April 28.
In 2005 Raffles college joined the Raffles Education Corporation, Asia Pacific's premier creative design and business education provider with a network of over 34 colleges across the Asia Pacific region, including locations such as Singapore, China, and Thailand. The Sydney college, based in North Sydney, holds a reputation for producing original, innovative and distinguished design talent from the Asia Pacific.
The Raffles International Showcase took place on April 26 2014 at 7pm at China Graduate Fashion Week.
China Graduate Fashion Week took place between April 23-28 2014 at 751 D • PARK, 2 Jiuxianqiao Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing.