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Fashion students in running to create AUS/NZ designs for Specsavers

Two Kangan Institute fashion students – Nadine Aurin (of Southbank) and Bethany Peele (of Belgrave Heights) – are amongst ten designers shortlisted for Specsavers’ first ever Young Innovator Design Competition.

The competition invited student designers from across Australia and New Zealand to develop and submit designs for an eyewear collection. The award will select up to three emerging designers whose eyewear collection designs will be manufactured for sale in Australia and New Zealand.

Kangan Institute’s Diploma of Applied Fashion Design and Merchandising (MST50116) students were encouraged to develop their designs as part of CAD (computer aided design) technology training. This permitted students to digitally develop their designs in 3D and support the design process with brand, trend and material research.

The students also used laser-cutting machines on campus to trial various materials and create prototypes.

Finalist Nadine, who recently won Kangan Institute’s 2019 Outstanding International Student – Creative Industries award, says her Specsavers collection, Bare Frames, includes four designs for sunglasses bound by a sustainable theme.

Cork features as a main material due to its natural, eco-friendly and biodegradable elements. The design also incorporates recyclable rose gold stainless steel for a stylish touch.

“Being selected as top 10 for the Specsavers Young Innovator Design Competition is a great opportunity to showcase my design skills and my passion for sustainability,” says Nadine, who moved from Berlin to Melbourne to pursue fashion studies.

“I wanted to create a sustainable range of sunglasses that can be trendy, luxurious and environmentally friendly at the same time.”

With a strong passion for sustainable fashion, Nadine is also creating a luxury street-style sustainable outfit to be showcased at Kangan Institute and Red Cross Shops’ upcycled fashion show, Eco Luxe, for Melbourne Fashion Week.

Finalist Bethany’s Specsavers collection, Malleable Metal, incorporates four edgy and elegant designs for women’s optical glasses and sunglasses.

“Current and forecasted trends were an influence in my designs and I contrasted these modern trends with classic styles. My dream is for these glasses to allow women to feel empowered, valuable and ready for success,” she says.

“When you put your creativity out there, it's really exciting when other people see what you are trying to achieve. The whole process has been really fun, and I would really like to make special mention that none of this would have happened without our teacher Marina McGrath – she was the motivation to enter the competition.”

Bethany, who is also working on sustainable designs for Eco Luxe, says she hopes to pursue work in design in the future.

Kangan Institute’s CEO Phill Murphy says the students have proven themselves amongst the region’s best student designers.

“Congratulations to Nadine and Bethany for being shortlisted for Specsavers’ Young Innovator Design Competition. Their success demonstrates their aptitude and creativity amidst some of the top emerging talents in Australia and New Zealand,” he says.

“Our students’ achievements are also a reflection of our teachers’ strong guidance and commitment to imparting skills and knowledge.”

Winners will be announced on stage at Melbourne Fashion Week 2019 as part of the MFW Student Collections Runway on Sunday 1st September 2019. In addition to having their designs manufactured, winners will also receive a cash prize and mentoring sessions with Specsavers’ global head of product design and a design partner.

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