Because it’s Malcolm Carfrae and Julie Anne Quay’s modus operandi to support all things Aussie, they co-founded the Australian Fashion Foundation, a group dedicated to supporting the next generation of Australian talent in fashion. Last night, the pair, along with the Australian American Association, gathered a hundred of their closest friends to celebrate a decade spent bridging the gap between up-and-coming Australian designers and the lucrative American fashion market.
The mood was nothing short of festive as Aussie designers, models, and their friends gathered at Gitano—a tropical garden-inspired paradise in the middle of Manhattan. Over the last ten years, the foundation has jump-started the careers of 20 Australian fashion students by providing internship placements, career advisement, and a $20,000 grant to aspiring fashion professionals. “We’ve had a lot of support from brands like Thom Browne, Calvin Klein, DVF, Alexander McQueen, and Louis Vuitton,” said Carfrae, who founded and presides over Carfrae Consulting Group. “A lot of brands have been very supportive because we’re bringing them incredible talent.”
Quay, who has also founded VFILES, agreed that the foundation’s work extends to creating a community for Australians who are in New York to work in fashion. “When Malcolm and I first got to New York City, it was very difficult to find other Australians. Americans and Australians might speak the same language, but they’re very different culturally!”
Tropical palms swayed in the breeze as the crowd continued to mingle over margaritas and Mexican-inspired bites. While Quay and Carfrae greeted members of the fashion community who have made the foundation’s success possible (AAA and Bird in Hand were co-sponsors of the night), Vogue caught up with Camilla Freeman-Topper and Marc Freeman of Camilla and Marc. “I think that supporting young talent is important,” said Marc. “The opportunities the foundation is affording these designers are very unique.”
“I love to be able to support young and up and coming talent. There’s nothing more rewarding than being able to nurture that,” agreed Camilla. “It’s wonderful that Malcolm has been manning this ship for such a long time. I’m just happy to be part of it.”