This iD International Emerging Awards finalist now works for one of Australasia’s largest media outlets.
Fiona Ralph enrolled in Otago Polytechnic’s Bachelor Degree of Fashion Design with the intention of becoming a fashion designer, however after graduating, her career took a slightly different path, and she is now a magazine features editor.
Fiona graduated polytech in 2006, and showed her graduate collection as a finalist in the iD International Emerging Fashion Designer Awards the year after. Her collection was inspired by the unrealistic expectations placed on women to be thin, and the need to celebrate a curvier physique. In a satirical jab to the cosmetic industry, Fiona used padding on breasts and buttocks-creating exaggerated silhouettes, while referencing 90s supermodels and Americana.
Fiona says having the opportunity to showcase her collection on completing fashion school, was the perfect way to wrap up three years of study.
“It was really exciting, especially right after finishing fashion school. It felt like a great way to celebrate the collection, and gave me another platform to showcase it.”
She says as a whole, the experience of being a finalist was highly rewarding and that she found developing friendships with other emerging designer finalists particularly positive.
“A highlight was meeting the other entrants, and being inspired by their creativity.”
While many of Fiona’s fellow finalists went on to become fashion designers, Fiona began freelance writing, before embarking on a career in fashion PR, working firstly at Trelise Cooper, then Beat Showroom.
“Freelancing and PR were how I initially got into writing. It was a bit harder getting into this industry without a journalism degree, but it worked because of my experience in fashion.”
She then moved to the New Zealand Herald’s highly popular lifestyle publication Viva, before branching out into sustainability and lifestyle writing where she’s now the features editor for Bauer Media’s magazines ‘Nadia’ and ‘Your Home and Garden’.
Fiona says it was beneficial being able to tell prospective employers that she was an iD International Emerging Designer finalist early on in her career.