Following the graduation of the first class of students to study fashion at TAFE Queensland’s Gympie campus, a successful Australian designer has highlighted the opportunity for local fashion-lovers by voicing her support for the program.

Gympie-based designer Cindy Vogels said it was great to see young people in a smaller regional town have the opportunity to pursue a career in the creative industries, attributing her own TAFE Queensland education to providing her with the skills she needed to succeed in the industry.

“I think young people often feel like they have to move away from regional towns to follow their dreams, but with the current digital landscape you can follow your passion anywhere in the world,” Cindy said.

"For fashion-lovers to have the opportunity to study here and get the skills to get started is just fantastic."

Cindy had an early introduction to the fashion industry at just eight years of age, with her clothing designer mother teaching her to sew and draft. Inspired by the legendary designs of Jean Paul Gaultier, she went on to study fashion with TAFE Queensland in 1993 before launching her own successful career.

“I loved my time there – mostly I enjoyed the contact with like-minded peers that were passionate about fashion and learning about the industry,” Cindy said.

In 2014, Cindy achieved what every designer dreams of, after she was engaged by Brandon Maxwell Studios to contribute to pop superstar Lady Gaga’s wardrobe in the promo lead-up for her ‘Cheek to Cheek’ tour with Tony Bennett. It was during this time she created the label Racy & Lucky, and after Lady Gaga was photographed wearing one of her headpieces, the brand exploded.

Cindy now designs and dresses music artists and actors, most recently working with musicians Doolie and Rackett for their performances at the Big Pineapple Festival. She is also working with country music star Kirsty-Lee Akers as the wardrobe designer for her tour across the United Kindom, Canada, and the United States of America. All this from her home in Gympie

Photo credit: Bambi Gosbell



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