SYDNEY — Kim Clark and Domenic Roylance have been named the Australian Fashion Foundation’s 2020 scholarship recipients at the foundation’s 10th annual Christmas party.
Announced at a function at The Ivy Sunroom in Sydney on Tuesday, the designers, who are graduates of RMIT University and the University of Technology Sydney respectively, will each be awarded $20,000 and assistance in securing a six-month internship at a U.S.-based fashion company with a global focus.
This year’s judging panel included men’s wear designer Patrick Johnson, stylist Brana Wolf, AUSFF cofounder Malcolm Carfrae and the editors in chief of the Australian editions of Vogue and Harpers Bazaar, Edwina McCann and Eugenie Kelly.
According to Carfrae, the judges were struck by the “wildly talented” 25-year-old Roylance, with Clark’s dexterity also impressing.
“She had men’s wear, women’s wear and accessories all as part of her graduating collection, which is really unusual,” he said. “The tailoring, the trenchcoats, the prints, were all just superb.”
At 50, Clark is the oldest graduate to have been awarded a scholarship through the foundation. Born in Vietnam during the war and originally working in marketing at Saigon’s Park Hyatt and other five-star hotels, Clark moved to Australia after marrying an Australian. After raising a family, she decided to pursue her dream of studying fashion, recently completing a masters at RMIT.
“To come from nowhere and to have an opportunity like this, it’s just amazing,” she said.
Launched in 2009 by Carfrae and fellow New York-based Australian Julie Anne Quay, the founder of VFiles, the foundation has helped around 20 Australian fashion designers and creatives gain valuable international experience via internships with brands such as Narcisco Rodriguez, Proenza Schouler, Louis Vuitton, Thom Browne, Alexander McQueen, Diane von Furstenberg and Calvin Klein.
“Two of our winners got internships at Thom Browne and both were offered jobs,” said Carfrae. “One went to Louis Vuitton in Paris and was offered a full-time job (Alexander Oscar Kelvy). One went to Calvin Klein and was offered a full-time job (Georgia Lazzaro). We’ve had a really incredible success rate. Interns don’t usually get hired for full-time design jobs.”
He added, “We just want to keep going, we want to keep the momentum going so that we can really help as many as we can. Because I don’t think anyone else is really helping support young fashion graduates.”