MSFW: Gabrielle Brown

1 September 2015

Written by: Jordan Drummond

With countless awards and runway appearances, Gabrielle Brown is living up to her RMIT University fashion pedigree.

The 24-year-old tells upstart that she graduated with First Class Honours from her Bachelor of Design (Fashion) Degree in 2013.

“I initially always loved design and studied textiles in high school. It was my favourite subject and I guess I couldn’t see myself studying anything else at university,” she says.

“Your fashion study background definitely assists with the skills that are crucial to create a label.”

Her achievements at RMIT University also presented her with the opportunity to join the prestigious Golden Key International Honour Society.

Brown’s graduate collection then debuted at the Virgin Australia Fashion Festival (VAMFF) in 2014.

“I was selected as one of the twelve finalists for the National Graduate Showcase Runway,” she says.

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Last year, Brown won the Target Graduate Design Award. Her prize was to design a womenswear capsule collection that was stocked exclusively at Target stores around Australia.

She says that it was one of the best experiences she’s ever had.

“It was so great to see the design, manufacturing and marketing side with such a large company. I have learnt so many invaluable things that will assist my label in the future,” she says.

“The design team at Target were so lovely and they provided strong mentoring throughout the whole process of the range. I can’t express how helpful this program was to an emerging designer.”

Her collection, Gabrielle Brown x Target, sold out across Australia and was showcased at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Festival Sydney and the Telstra Perth Fashion Festival.

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As a part of this year’s MSFW, Brown was one of five emerging designers selected to showcase their designs at the Fred Hates Fashion runway event, held on Saturday night.

“It was an amazing experience to be given the opportunity to work with an array of creatives in film, beauty and design. It was very exciting to collaborate with and to make a film for the first time with director Andrew (Undi) Lee,” she says.

“To be able to showcase my designs alongside a film was incredible.”

Her label produces luxury women’s clothing that aims to combine design and technology.

“The vision behind my label and current collection is to merge luxury design with new techniques to explore three dimensionality and textural surfaces.”

She uses a neutral colour palette to bring focus to the detail in her designs.

“I’m intrigued with details, textures and organic forms. My method of creation is intuitive, a sensory wandering,” she says.

“I work with a deliberate intent on exploring the spatial potential of the cloth through handcraft and digital manipulation.”

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Brown says that being a one-woman-show has been her biggest challenge as a designer so far.

“Starting off as a small label, I have found that it is a lot of hard work, as I do all the designing, pattern making through to construction and marketing myself,” she says.

“It may feel overwhelming at times, however I think it comes down to time management and being organised. It all seems to come together in the end.”

She says that she loves to try new things and is constantly evolving her design process.

“It’s a big learning curve, but I am loving every moment of it,” she says.

An international launch of her collection is also on Brown’s radar.

“I’ve got a lot of projects in the works, however you will just have to wait and see.”

She says that for anyone wanting to follow in her footsteps, getting your designs in front of the right people is key.

“Social media is a must for any designer, as you can build relationships and connect with people you want to work with such as editors, boutiques and industry contacts.”

You can check out Brown’s latest collection here and follow her journey here.


The upstart Culture & Lifestyle team will continue to profile up and coming designers who will feature in a range of events at MSFW. Stay tuned for these profiles over the coming week. 


Jordan DrummondJordan Drummond is a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Arts (majoring in Journalism) student at La Trobe University. Follow her novice Twitter musings: @jordanmdrummond.