Behind the Door: Melinda Sullivan
- BY: SARAH SWIFT
- Jan. 21, 2018
Behind the Door is a series that goes behind the scenes with Miro Door volunteers, exploring the many ways in which we help connect young people with opportunities within the fashion and creative industries. Today, we get to know Melinda - a fashion, news and lifestyle writer and editor based in Melbourne.
Hi Melinda, thanks so much for letting us go Behind the Door - tell us a little bit about your professional background.
I started my career at Garfunkle in Prahran over 20 years ago, originally as a house model and then I was trained as a pattern marker within the company. I was responsible for grading the patterns, digitising them onto the computer and doing the layout and costing before it went to the manufacturer. Everything at Garfunkle was designed and manufactured right here in Australia - we got to meet everyone from the fabric consultants to the cutters. From seeing the initial design, to the pattern being made and garment being completed, I have developed a huge understanding and appreciation of fashion design and the work that goes into it. I worked with renowned Melbourne fashion designers Gwendolynne Burkin, Nicollee Dent and Roger Grinstead.
I also completed a Diploma in Business and was responsible for maintaining in-house fashion systems, as well as helping with design and the creation of promotional campaigns. I then went on to work at Myer Melbourne and Myer Chadstone and was the co-coordinator of the Megamart projects for Myer and also responsible for setting up and implementing all in-house and point of sale systems.
How did you come to be involved with Miro Door?
After having my children I had a break from fashion and then I saw an opportunity to work for VAMFF as a volunteer so I thought ‘What a great way to see if I want to get back into this industry and perhaps some networking amongst some fashion savvy people is just what I need to inspire me to get back into doing what I love’…
When I looked on the Miro Door website I noticed they were also after writers! I have always had a passion for writing and along with my background doing fashion campaigns I thought ‘Wow what an opportunity - let’s give it a go!’. I sent Miro Kubicek through some examples of my writing style and I did a mock up press release for VAMFF, which he loved. We had an interview and Miro was delighted to welcome me to the Miro Door team. I also volunteered for VAMFF in 2017 and was inspired to create my company Melbourne My Style. During the week of VAMFF I met some fabulous and inspiring fashion students. This year one of the stylists I met will be working for me and my new company on fashion campaigns.
What opportunities have arisen since your initial involvement with Miro Door?
Since writing for Miro Door and working at VAMFF I was inspired to create my own media company Melbourne My Style. Since VAMFF we have covered MBFWA as official media, we have also covered Melbourne Fashion Week, The Dappertude, VRC Flemington and Portsea Polo to name a few. During the Portsea Polo coverage we had over 70,000 views on our social media and now have an Instagram following with over 25K. We have also run some successful campaigns with George and King Menswear, Min the label, The Luxe Collection by L and many more. We are now working with some of Melbourne’s most inspiring fashion photographers and stylists. I also completed a Styling Diploma with the Australian College of Professional Styling to enhance my campaign skills.
Do you have any advice for people wanting to get their start in the fashion industry?
I would advise anyone wanting insight into the fashion industry to volunteer at one of the fashion festivals. Yes, it requires had work and dedication; however you will get to experience how a whole show is put together and what’s involved. You will get to meet designers, models and management and see the completion of this huge production. You will also meet and network with others in the industry and perhaps they will even inspire you further to your ultimate goal, whatever that may be. You will also make friendships and perhaps even have the opportunity to work together in the future like myself.
To see more of Melinda’s writing and work, visit https://melbournemystyle.com/ and follow her on Instagram @melbournemystyle
For all the latest fashion events and volunteer opportunities, check out the Miro Door jobs page.