SYDNEY — Is an Australian modeling takeover in the pipeline? “Let’s hope so!” said Ruby Jean Wilson, the face of Marc Jacobs’ spring ad campaign, at last week’s Australians in New York Fashion Foundation party here.
Flanked by Julia Nobis, the latest star of the Saint Laurent spring campaign, Wilson was among a posse of Sydney-, New York- and Beijing-based Australian fashion players at the One Moncur cocktail bar in Woollahra to cheer on the winners of the foundation’s 2013 burse.
Partygoers included model agents such as Danielle Ragenard, the general manager of IMG Models’ just-launched Australian division; magazine editors and publishers such as Edwina McCann (Vogue), Kellie Hush (Harper’s Bazaar), Jess Blanch (Russh Australia) and Alison Veness-McGourty (10 and 10 Men Australia), and designers Dion Lee, Camilla Franks and Camilla Freeman-Topper.
Natasha Fagg and Tim Watson, recent graduates of Melbourne’s RMIT and Perth’s Curtin University, were announced as the joint recipients of 40,000 Australian dollars or $41,924 at current exchange — double the previous year’s funding for the foundation, thanks to the support of Woolmark.
Established in 2009 to help young Australians gain experience in the New York fashion industry, the organization is undergoing a name and mission change in 2013. Moving forward as the Australian Fashion Foundation, its network of Aussie fashion expats is expanding across the Atlantic, and Fagg and Watson will have the choice of heading to either New York or Europe next year for their six-month internships.
Some previous AFF inductees have gone on to score full-time positions in New York — for instance, Georgia Lazzaro at Calvin Klein Inc. and Simon Eeles as an assistant to photographer Craig McDean. And the foundation’s cofounder, Sydney-born Malcolm Carfrae — Calvin Klein Inc.’s executive vice president of global communications — reports he is constantly fielding calls from young Australians looking for career pointers.
“I will always give them some form of advice or put them in contact with someone, because I’ve been in that situation myself,” said Carfrae. “The smallest words of advice, even if it’s only for five minutes, could make a big difference to their careers.”