Alumna' exploration of Chinese culture through fashion design

Katherine Jiang

Taking her eastern upbringing with her into her exploration of western fashion, discover how Branded Fashion Design student Katherine Jiang built her brand.

Fashion design and creativity has been a passion for Katherine Jiang since a young age. Having spent most of her primary years in China, Katherine has a long-standing connection to her home country that she carried with her in Australia. Growing up with a strong Chinese heritage, Katherine wanted to see more of the ideology of “east meets west within the fashion industry.”

Her diverse background had her explore this ideology of both east and west fashion culture. Taking the mainstream western fashion silhouettes that are seen across runways and in everyday clothing, Katherine sought to incorporate Eastern artistic elements within her designs. By incorporating the two together, this allowed her to create an inclusive, open and gender-neutral fashion brand, Indistinct.

In her exploration of her brand, Katherine wanted to take her designs and brand into the modern future, by being as inclusive as possible. This saw her creating gender-neutral clothing as she believes in “promoting the ideology that the barrier that pre-determines a garment’s gender qualities should be abolished.”

She aims to design pieces that “are gender agnostic, allowing every identity to showcase their true self without the restrictions that are given to clothing.”

How Billy Blue College of Design paved her path to the Fashion industry

Studying a Bachelor of Branded Fashion Design at Billy Blue College of Design, prepared Katherine for what to expect in the industry. As she already had the creativity and practical skills in fashion design, she sought to learn where these skills could take her within the industry.

She explains “as the course was well-rounded, I was able to expand my career possibilities and not narrow myself down to one specific role.”

“There were a range of skills that I refined and further expanded on during my study.”

The Fashion Design course allowed her to broaden her views on creativity, where she was able to refine her “technical skills in garment construction to thinking of new ways to approach making an illustration come to life.”

The commercially minded program allowed Katherine to expand her outlook to not just focus on the artistic and design elements, but on how she can turn her brand into a successful commercial product.

The core management and fundamental skills she learnt throughout her study have helped Katherine in her current role as a Production Coordinator. “Communication is key, as well as having the knowledge to understand technical difficulties that impact production.”

As she is responsible for relaying information between the client and manufacturers, these fundamental skills have set her up for success.

Never be afraid of asking for career opportunities

Her excellence in her studies and creation of her own unique brand saw Katherine nominated as a finalist in the 2022 Australia China Alumni Awards, an initiative that celebrates excellence in Australian tertiary education of Australian-educated alumni in China.

Katherine Jiang - Australia China Alumni Awards finalist

Her determination and commitment during her studies and to her brand have earned her a trustworthy reputation with clients and within her wider fashion community.

When asked about her future, Katherine hopes to “develop her label for the wider market and make its way to an international platform.”

She explains, “the new skills gained at Billy Blue were industry and business related,” which gave her insight into how she could make this dream possible.

As she continues to grow in the industry her one piece of advice to other students studying would be to, “never be afraid of asking for opportunities from your lecturers, tutors or success coach, they have a lot of industry experience and are able to give you insight into your future career.”

You can find out more about Katherine’s brand Indistinct here.

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