After a bumper first year that saw her designs shimmy down the Perth Fashion Festival catwalk, a nomination for a WA Fashion Award and former Spice Girl Mel B spotted wearing her label, local designer Steph Audino has firmly sealed her place as one to watch next year.
The Inglewood-based fashion star recently celebrated one year since the debut of her eponymous brand and has risen to prominence at a speed that most emerging designers could only dream of.
However, Audino says it was her plan all along to race up the fashion food chain.
“I was determined to get this far this quickly,” the 22-year-old says.
“I just pushed myself to keep going and achieve all my goals.
“I just do what I love and I am glad that everyone has taken a liking to it. It’s good to get some recognition.”
As a nominee for Designer for Tomorrow at the upcoming 2012 WA Fashion Awards, Audino is known for her girlie-but-edgy designs and has a well-known clientele including Perth Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi.
Though she was initially “shocked” to see idol Mel B in her label, the designer now has her sights set on having another X Factor star don her designs in the future.
“I’d love to see Samantha Jade wearing my stuff, I think it would really suit her style,” she says.
Audino plans an even bigger year in 2013, releasing a larger collection next season and testing the waters of the international market.
Far from crumbling under the pressure following her successful debut, Audino says she thrives on it.
“It just makes me want to work harder,” she laughs.
Audino will share some of her best-loved styles at Designer Preview at the Rydges Hotel from noon on Saturday to raise money for A Better Life Foundation.
Tickets can be purchased at the door.