YOUSEF AKBAR is debuting his Women’s Ready-to-Wear label as part of The Innovators at Australian Fashion Week - MBFWA. Yousef hails originally from Saudi Arabia and came to Australia to study Logistics at the University of South Australia. But fashion was his calling and it was while completing his Master’s at Sydney University that Yousef discovered one could study, and train for, a career in fashion. He was so excited that he embarked on a Diploma of Fashion at The Fashion Design Studio (SydneyTAFE) while still finishing his Masters Degree! “Back home there is no avenue to study fashion - you are usually in the fashion industry, like being a tailor, because your family has always done that,” says Yousef. “I have always been designing my own clothes and usually driving the tailors a bit crazy with my ideas!” The decision to abandon Logistics for Fashion has certainly paid off with Yousef already winning a string of industry awards since his graduation in 2013 : FLAIR Designer of the Year 2013 FLAIR Best Tailoring 2013 TAFE Eveningwear Award 2013 POWERHOUSE Student Fashion Exhibition 2014 NEW ZEALAND FASHION WEEK Best Emerging International Designer (to be announced) 2014 AUSTRALIAN FASHION WEEK Innovators Show 2014 (invitation only) In 2013 Yousef interned with Australian Designer Dion Lee, working on his submission for the Woolmark Prize (winning entry). He has also worked with Romance was Born (Marvel Comics Collection 2012) Yousef Akbar is launching with womenswear this season, with plans to expand the label to include menswear in the near future.