23-year-old Ann Xiao was originally studying Economics at university, but she had always had a passion for fashion. She took a year off from to learn how to make clothes and used her own clothes to sample her designs. She kept this project a secret from her family and friends. She also spent her time building her portfolio and applying to fashion schools. At the age of 18, Xiao was accepted into Ultimo TAFE Sydney. When she broke the news to her family, it was difficult for them to adjust to the idea; however, they eventually accepted it.
Fast forwarding to her life now, Xiao is a rising star in the fashion world; she has presented her designs at Dunedin’s iD Fashion Week in New Zealand and will also be presenting at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week later this year. Speaking about her designs, Xiao said: “My clothes channel a very minimal and unisex aesthetic, they’re influenced by streetwear, but I’m also aiming at conscientious consumers who want to be aware of where their clothes come from”.
When asked what advice she would give to aspiring designers, Xiao said: “Fashion sounds glamorous, but it’s actually a lot of hard work. Try an internship or get as much hands-on experience as you can. That way you can see if you’re suited.”
Ann’s story is an inspiring one and it shows how pursuing your passions and believing in yourself can take you far. Do you have a passion, project or hobby that you want to develop further? Do you want to start your own business? Or are you looking to change your career path? If so, come to our financial meetings every Monday at 7.30pm (also at 7am, 10am and 3pm) to receive advice on how to advance in your career and in your finances.