Australian wunderkind Charly Thorn is only 18, but made her first runway collection at age 14 and will be showing her fourth at Vancouver Fashion Week.
“I have always known that I want to be in the fashion industry and since I was a little girl I have been designing and making clothes,” Thorn told Apparel. “I have not been formally trained to sew. I am completely self-taught. The first thing I ever made was a dress out of paper for myself, an A-line dress with a pouch on the front for my Textas!”
Thorn is the sole designer for her collections and had previously made all the samples herself, although outsourced the last collection while she finished high school – as well as working nights to fund the collection. She’s looking to change this in the future. “The collection for Vancouver will hopefully be the first I can put into production, meaning I will go through the entire pattern making and sample making process with a manufacturer and then sell through my online store.”

Thorn is excited about showing at Vancouver Fashion Week, recognising the benefits of such an experience. “Being able to show in Vancouver Fashion Week so young is an amazing opportunity to create great relationships, have exciting experiences and to expose my label to a wider audience.”

Thorn’s brand is very much in the early stages at the moment, and she is hoping to continue creating relationships with people in the industry such as manufacturers and pattern makers until she is ready to launch her label. “I am very passionate about fashion and business and want to learn as much as I can before officially launching,” she explained. Being only 18, Thorn hasn’t yet had the chance to complete any formal training, but intends to pursue fashion design and business in 2018, either in Sydney, Melbourne or internationally.