An up-and-coming Campbelltown fashion designer, who launched a Polynesian fashion label inspired by her Samoan heritage, is championing multiculturalism in the industry after her designs hit the global spotlight.
Priscila Yarnelle will represent TAFE NSW in the Fabrics of Multicultural Australia (FOMA) showcase and cultural exhibit next year in collaboration with Foreign Embassies and Consulates.
The TAFE NSW fashion student and dance teacher never thought she would work in the fashion industry. She relaunched her career after outfits she made for her local Polynesian dance students received glowing reviews.
“When people saw the outfits I had designed and made myself, they were putting in requests for me to make wedding dresses and other Polynesian inspired designs,” Priscila said.
As business grew rapidly, Priscila gave up her job and launched her own business, E’vana Couture. That’s when she enrolled in a Diploma of Applied Fashion design and Merchandising at TAFE NSW Lidcombe to take her business to the next level.
“I knew how to sew but I didn’t have the practical skills and experience to operate a fashion business and I wanted to have reputable qualifications behind me, which is why I turned to TAFE NSW,” she said.
Priscila’s designs have been worn by celebrities at the MTV Awards including Parris Goebel (pictured right) who has choreographed routines for Jennifer Lopez, Rhianna and Justin Bieber, among others.
“The most important thing I’ve learnt at TAFE NSW is how to work with sustainable materials and create a fashion business that promotes environmentally friendly and ethical practices,” Priscila said.
FOMA highlights the artistic and cultural influences in design that define contemporary Australia. Priscila is now experimenting with materials including coconut husk to incorporate in her designs for the showcase.
TAFE NSW Head Teacher of Fashion, Fiona Lloyd, said Priscila was a shining example of the opportunities available to students through TAFE NSW.
“Thanks to the practical, real-world skills gained in her course, Priscila has taken her fashion business to the next level and work side-by-side with industry representatives.”
“The Diploma of Applied Fashion Design and Merchandising is the perfect blend of creative and business, giving students the outcomes in design and product development, operations, marketing and consumer behavior to be able to succeed in a career in fashion.”
If you are ready to enrol in a fashion course at TAFE NSW, visit www.tafensw.edu.au/courses/fashion-and-textiles-courses, or call 131 601.
Media Contact: Jessica Cortis, TAFE NSW Media and Communications Business Partner, 0456 170 211.