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Fashionable graduate on the verge of success

Thursday, September 18, 2008
Fashionable graduate on the verge of success

The inaugural winner of a $10,000 fashion development grant is a former Massey University School of Design student who has already had a taste of success.

Michelle Wilson was yesterday named the winner of Verge’s $10,000 Business Development Grant after showing her Winter 2009 collection at Air New Zealand Fashion Week.

The 25-year-old Auckland-based designer, who shows under the label Michelle Yvette, was one of five to show as part of the Verge Breakthrough Designers Show.

Ms Wilson was inspired by the beauty of Afghanistan and opened the show with models in burqas shipped from the war-torn country.

She was judged the winner by buyers, media and fashion players in the front rows of the show on the basis of whose garments were the most commercially viable.

The Verge Breakthrough Designers Programme offers designers mentoring and support to show at Air New Zealand Fashion Week, including a "boot camp" on topics including marketing and finances. This was the first year a grant has been offered.

Ms Wilson, who completed a Bachelor of Design majoring in fashion design at the Wellington campus in 2004, was asked the previous year to design a shirt for Lord of the Rings star Viggo Mortensen to wear at the premier of Return of the King after attending his photography exhibition at the university.


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