New York Fashion Week kicked off in September with a number of up and coming designers from all over the world showcasing. One newbie Australian Designer and local talent hit the catwalk on September 10 with her first major show, but certainly not her last. Robe’s Taylor Hunt brought her Hunt & Heart designs to life in front of the world’s fashion elite on a stage most designers only dream of. The talented 22-year-old only graduated from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology last year, and has already ticked off a number of fashion goals. “I still don’t believe it!,” she said. “I think it’s one of those defining moments where you will either sink or swim but at the end of the day, NYFW is every designers dream and even if it all falls to pieces, I’ll have that experience forever and I can be proud that I worked harder than I thought I ever could.” Taylor is definitely not afraid of hard work either, taking to the pressure of creating a whole new line of designs in under three months like a pro. “I had three months to prepare a range that had 14 different looks, as well as completely changing my supply chain,” Taylor said. “That was my biggest dilemma when deciding to go to NYFW because I had to make sure I seized every possible opportunity whilst I was over there, and that meant having the adequate infrastructure to fulfil any orders that came my way.”

Taylor got the call up for NYFW after Australian fashion agency ‘Fashion Palette’ contacted her asking whether she would be interested in joining them in NYC.
“I actually wasn’t aware of Fashion Palette and what they were about until I got in contact with them,” she said. “I did some research, and had loads of conversations and meetings with various mentors and my family to see if it would even be possible for me to pull off.
“Once I decided to take the plunge, I spoke to Fashion Palette’s CEO Sonya and accepted their invite to be in the line up.” Fashion Palette was established in 2009 to help Australian designers expand their businesses through runway platforms by connecting designers with industry professionals, consumers, media and buyers.
It’s a dream come true for the talented designer, who is still pinching herself.
“Some days I think it’s just pure luck, then other days I think back to all the hours (tears) and hard work I have put into it all and I have to give myself a little credit,” she said.
“I guess my passion and determination shows in my work and I was just lucky that someone recognised that.”

Taylor’s vision has come together organically after securing her place in the show.
“I basically had to design my range within a week and let vibe unravel over time,” she said.
“Looking back on it now, at the time I found myself in a position where I really had to step up and take on all these unknown responsibilities.”
For Taylor it has been an eye-opening challenge to get herself to a stage where she can be seen as a strong business woman, and be taken seriously.
Her inspiration for NYFW came from “our societies current focus on feminism and gender equality”. “I am really inspired by women who are redefining the definition of what’s sexy and beautiful,” she said. “I like the idea that women are dressing for themselves and their own confidence and that’s where my range took a more androgynous turn and I am so in love with that. “I wanted my show to reflect strong women, who are driven and confident in their own skin.” After arriving in New York early September, Taylor hit the ground running with rehearsals and fittings at the top of the list. “I feel like everything that has happened to me in the last three months has been pretty unbelievable and I know how lucky I am to be given this opportunity,” Taylor said. “I am also beyond lucky to have had the family support I do, and I know they are a big reason for why I am able to follow this path.”

runway NYFW

Taylor’s Hunt & Heart designs hit the runway during New York Fashion Week.

Along with 18 other fresh new Australian designers, Hunt & Heart was all lights, cameras, action at New York’s famous Pier 59 Studios on September 10. Lucky for newbie designers like Taylor, Fashion Palette mentor their designers through the whole process of putting together a runway show, helping to make this dream a reality.
“Fashion Palette is astonishing in that they organise everything down to a tee and thats why it’s so amazing for someone like me,” Taylor said. “With no experience I essentially just rocked up with my garments and they assisted with putting it all together.”
As for the show itself, Taylor is still on a high!
“It was incredible, such a surreal experience, I’m still on a high,” she said.
“It was an extremely intense, high stress situation to be in, especially being the youngest and most inexperienced. “But I had worked my butt off the last three months and it was amazing to see it all come together.”

After a huge response from those backstage at the event, Taylor is over the moon.
“I have already had lots of girls ask me when they can buy certain garments which is always very exciting,” she said. “However I won’t start to hear from buyers until after fashion week.
“Over the next few weeks I’ll hopefully hear from buyers and boutiques if they have any interest.” So for now it’s a waiting game, but one thing is for sure this talented girl won’t have to wait very long. Ideally Taylor would love to start wholesaling her designs, as well as running her online store, and if all goes to plan the next goal for Hunt & Heart would be to open a store front in Melbourne. “I’m proud of myself because I know how hard I’ve worked to get here,” she said. “A lot of sacrifices have been made and I now know what I’m capable of, it’s been a really motivating experience. “NYC is such a breathtaking city, I still can’t believe I made it here! It’s been fun to try and find my feet in such a huge fashion focused city and to start networking with industry professionals.”
There’s no doubt about it, Hunt & Heart will soon be a household name dressing all women with timeless and classic ‘statement staples’ made to be worn over and over. You go girl!

Check out Hunt & Heart online www.huntandheart.com, or follow Hunt & Heart on social media @huntandheart, www.facebook.com/hunt&heart.