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Australians in New York Announce Grant Winner

The foundation awarded a stipend, round-trip airfare to New York and six months of mentoring to RMIT fashion grad Laura Wad.

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Gary Bigeni and Mitchell Oakley-Smith

Photo By Patty Huntington

Bambi Northwood-Blyth

Photo By Patty Huntington

SYDNEY — “Brana Wolf can help get an internship at any fashion label in the world.”

So noted Malcolm Carfrae, Calvin Klein Inc.’s executive vice president of global communications and a co-founder of the 18-month-old Australians in New York Fashion Foundation mentoring initiative. He also was the emcee at a party last week in his hometown of Sydney to unveil the foundation’s second annual grant.

Taking over a James Bond-style penthouse suite at The Ivy bar and restaurant complex on George Street, Carfrae and his fellow fashion expats, including stylist Wolf, Colac Pictures president Julie Anne Quay and Elite Model Management director of development Doll Wright, awarded $25,000 plus round-trip airfare to New York and six months worth of industry introductions to RMIT fashion graduate Laura Wade. Journalist and author Mitchell Oakley-Smith was the runner-up.

Also on hand were guests including Vogue Australia editor Kirstie Clements; vogue.com.au editor Damien Woolnough; Harper’s Bazaar Australia fashion director Jill Davison and fashion editor Christine Centenera; L’Oréal Melbourne Fashion Festival creative director Grant Pearce; designers Gary Bigeni, Bridget McCall, Nicholas van Messner and Kit Willow Podgornik, and models Jessica Gomes and Bambi Northwood-Blyth.  

The Australians in New York Fashion Foundation was set up last year by several successful New York-based Australians who work in the fashion business to help young Australians gain industry experience.

While the inaugural AINYFF grant winner, RMIT fashion graduate Georgia Lazzaro, has just wrapped up internships with Calvin Klein Collection women’s wear creative director Francisco Costa and Narciso Rodriguez, three of her fellow 2010 finalists have scored full-time jobs with Greg Kadel Studios, V Magazine and Yves Saint Laurent in Paris, said Carfrae.

“I’d like to see it as almost an expat training program — ideally we’d love to partner with one of the academic institutions in Australia,” said Quay, former studio manager for Steven Meisel and executive editor of V Magazine who, on Jan. 11, will reveal the name of the director of her new film, “Fabulous Nobodies.” Hint: His name was recently linked with a high-profile fashion documentary.

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