Twenty-two-year-old Allie Howard was born in Sydney and has lived there all of her life. Growing up, she loved textiles and started her textile class in her seventh year at Wenona School. In her last year of schooling, she realised she wanted to take fashion and textiles beyond high school. This led her to apply for the Fashion and Textiles degree at UTS where Howard has just completed her fourth and final year graduating with honours.
Howard enjoys the process of creating and does both design and manufacturing of her garments. “I find the time between designing and making really interesting because it is really about problem-solving to try and create your vision of what you designed on paper,” she told Apparel Magazine. Howard added that waste and sustainability are a huge issue for her, especially when competing with fast fashion. “I try to tackle fast fashion in my practice by extending the life of garments with good construction, quality fabrication and try to have aspects that make the garment able to be worn multiple ways.” She added that she also values traditional tailoring practices, and considers this when creating her pieces. Her practice brings together a synergy between technology and traditional tailoring.
At the moment, Howard works solo but works with a number of people to create her designs. Through the process of this collection, she worked with laser cutters, and leather specialists and makers. Her brand launched at the end of 2017 but has been coming together for the last four years. The next step to continue her studies and gain more international experience. “I have always been interested in the business side of fashion, and am looking at applying for Masters in Europe and New York to explore this further alongside gaining some international industry experience in an internship.” Howard would love to work and collaborate with other creatives from different design disciplines. Steering clear of wearable art, Howard appreciates designers who can bring an element of wearability and functionality to their designs.
When it comes to marketing, she believes online would suit her best at the moment as her pieces are one-offs and not made for mass production. “I think online is a great way to market yourself because people can find you from all over the world.”
When asked to showcase her designs at Vancouver Fashion Week, Howard said the opportunity was too good to pass up. “It really is the start of expanding myself internationally. It will be amazing to see what other brands are also involved at VFW and network with people from all over the world.”
Her upcoming show at Vancouver Fashion Week will explore one idea to its absolute limit. “I have begun to explore beyond what I had already created both textile and shape wise. I’m excited to show some looks that I haven’t shown yet, extending the collection from six looks to twelve,” she said. “I have tried to create some more unusual pieces and unexpected combinations for the runway.”