Katya Ellis has been a lover of fashion, and immersed in the Melbourne fashion scene since she was a little girl, but professionally since 2007. Initially working with labels of all sizes in Melbourne and Australia wide through her textile business – Melbourne Textile Agencies. The inspiration resulting from working with fabrics inspired Katya to develop a fashion label with design partner Sarina Zammit, called Mina & Katusha in 2008.
Seeing a gap for accessible and affordable fashion week events for emerging fashion brands, Katya founded Made in Melbourne (Fashion), and annual event promoting Melbourne’s independent designers during Melbourne Spring Fashion Week. The event has been running since 2009, and in 2013 showcased 16 Melbourne labels to an audience of over 400. This year Made in Melbourne (Fashion) has evolved to become a Melbourne designer hub.
In 2011 seeing more gaps in the market for affordable retail and marketing services for designers, Katya co-founded Gusto & Elan, a boutique designer market space in the heart of Melbourne’s independent fashion district Fitzroy. Gusto & Elan has become the go to place for Australian and International labels ready to take the brands to the next level in Australia and abroad.
2014, saw Katya organise a trade event during New York Fashion Week for Australian designers, and has many exciting projects in the pipeline.
“It’s incredibly rewarding and satisfying to be contributing to an artistic fashion concept, such as that from an emerging brand”. Jordy
Back in 2011 Jordy started his career in the fashion industry as a model in Belgium, Europe. Shortly afterwards in 2012 Jordy moved to Los Angeles where he divides his time now between LA and Belgium. He’s been traveling all over the globe to be representing established- and emerging designers by inhabiting their visions and designs. Because of his expertise in this field, Jordy has an excellent understanding and passion for the emerging designer and their goals.
In the last decade, Telena Cassel has divided her time growing up between West Africa and the US. After graduating from Dartmouth College, she served as a “Tourism and Beauty Ambassador” for Liberia and went on to become a “Goodwill Ambassador” for The Republic of the Gambia. During her time as a pageant queen competing on the international pageant scene, she forged important relationships as she competed in pageants and travelled to many countries including Ethiopia, The Gambia, Philippines, Morocco, China, Japan and many others. After competing in her last beauty pageant, Miss International in Macao, Telena went on to attend law school at Howard University School of Law to add law to her expanding knowledge base. Telena is also an entertainment legal scholar with an official affiliation with the Musicians Union of Ghana (MUSIGA).
She has made a name for herself as a member of the Executive Board for Fashion Law Week (held annually in Washington D.C), a board member of the Liberian American Community of Southern California Association and as an advocate for African Fashion. Telena has impeccable taste, an eye for what is new, and a complete insiders knowledge of the fashion scene in many areas of Africa where she has helped clients with marketing and public relation efforts. Telena is also the creator of TheFashionBrewery.com and the soon to be released site featuring resort style—http://meetmebytheh2o.com/
Dayanne Danier is a Haitian-American fashion guru with her own fashion label whose experience in the industry extends over a decade. While growing up her influence on style evolved at a very young age from her Creole father’s emphasis on the importance of image:
“Growing up my dad would always say to us, kids make sure you are Bien Abyé, you don’t want people talking about you!”
Danier attended Massachusetts College of Art where she studied fashion design and later worked as a designer for companies like Perry Ellis and Phillip Van Heusen. While achieving career success, Dayanne now travels between New York and Haiti while working on numerous projects. In 2011, she worked with a sewing coop teaching them pattern drafting and construction techniques. She was also involved with the very first Haiti Fashion Week where she led a seminar on marketing and branding to designers. And when that was not enough, she cofounded of a non-profit organization called Fleur De Vie (means Flower of Life) whose mission is to support struggling organizations whose focus is to implement positive change in their community in the areas of education, health, and environmental sustainability.
The sisters Olivia and Rebecca live, work and laugh in Düsseldorf, Germany.
Olivia isn’t only a full-time student but also a full-time esthete. Learning about the human psychology and getting inspired by past and current philosophers during most of her week, she spends the rest of her time surrounded by fashion: As a shop assistant, she wraps her customers in Scandinavian garments. She loves to experiment with clothing and already used her styling skills to perfect the model’s look during photo productions. On the weekends the hunt for beauty and uniqueness takes place on another battlefield: The flea market. If you really want to take home something special, you definitely should join Olivia when shopping here. The next step on her mission: Finding interesting and exciting designers. Her partner in-crime: Her sister Rebecca. <br><br>
After eight years of work in fashion retail and studying communications, Rebecca now works as a PR professional where she helps lifestyle brands to appear on the customers’ radar. Getting to know brands and detecting what’s making them incomparable is part of her daily work. Part of her daily relaxation routine is taking her knitting needle or crochet hook and doing some handcrafting – There aren’t really enough winters to wear the amount of the self-made headbands piling up on her desk.