By Claudia Jambor
Queensland University of Technology (QUT) fashion students and local designers will be showcasing their collections from September 15 to 26 at the fourth annual The Fleet Store.
This year’s ephemeral pop-up store is shaping up to be the biggest and exciting yet. The Fleet Store is initiated, created and managed by the fashion and business students of Queensland University of Technology (QUT).
The pop-up store serves as a platform for emerging designers to showcase their works to the public as well as practice the fundamentals of running a fashion business.
Student manager of The Fleet Store, Emily Giles said the ephemeral store now has “a large awareness around the Brisbane fashion community” and is anticipating a successful sales for 2014.
“With over 30 designers and a larger following on social media allows for higher foot traffic through our store than ever before,” Giles said.
From September 15-26, The Billiards Room at Old Government House (adjacent to QUT’s Gardens Point campus) will be transformed into a modern and inviting shopping destination. Brisbane fashionistas can indulge in the eclectic range of accessories, garments, artwork and zines from current QUT fashion students, staff and alumni such as Holly Ryan Jewelry and SOOT by Edwina Sinclair.
This year, the Fleet Store has a strong ethical focus by incorporating a “social purpose event” to raise awareness about youth homelessness in Brisbane. The event involves the 12 hour production run of cutting, sewing and packaging a goal of 250 undies which will the Fleet Store will distribute in partnership with a local charity.
“Not only do we want to support our local designers but raise awareness of local social issues in Brisbane,” Giles said.
Crowd sourcing was utilized by this year’s Fleet store team to create extra funding as well as further promote the 2014 store online. QUT Senior Fashion lecturer and founder of The Fleet Store, Kay McMahon said the small budget allocated to operating the annual fashion store drives students to research “new and innovative ways to sustaining the project”.
“This year we crowd funded some of the working capital and were extremely successful. This type of experience is also what’s happening in the industry so this has also been an important learning curve,” McMahon said.
With the store opening in the coming week, Giles describes the process of creating this years’ Fleet Store as “great learning curve”.
“My involvement as Project Manager of the Fleet Store for 2014 has been a crazy and fun experience! The Fleet Store has been a great learning curve as a fashion and business double degree student as we are mentors and managers,” Giles said.
McMahon emphasizes the experience develops confidence in students to “become enterprising in many ways to sustain their future careers”
“Several of the double degree students who initiate, run and manage the whole project have used the experience in their portfolios and are now undertaking positions such as Digital Marketing Manager for Jimmy Choo London,” McMahon said. The store will open Monday to Friday from 9-6pm. Don’t miss out!