Tonight is a night for all South Australians to be proud, as one of our own, Paul Vasileff – the brains and talent behind the world-famous Paolo Sebastian fashion label – took home the award of 2017 Young Australian of the Year. With many news articles and headlines focusing on Paul’s incredible ability to produce breathtakingly beautiful fashion, and the success of his business, we wanted to share some fun facts about Paul that we’ve learnt from interviewing him over the past 8 years.
- Paul’s grandmother, who taught him to sew, has a collection of all his press clippings.
- Paul was a keen drawer from a very young age and would always draw pictures of women in dresses; they were ball gowns and very elaborate. He made dresses out of newspaper and made his friends wear them.
- When Paul was 11, his friend showed him a picture of a dress and said, ‘I really like this dress’ and Paul said, ‘We can make that’ and so they did and it turned out really well. Someone else saw it and they wanted one. And from there it snowballed.
- Paul held his first fashion show as a student at Adelaide boys school Christian Brothers College.
- While Paul has been creating fashion his entire life, he founded the high-end designer label Paolo Sebastian when he was 17.
- In 2010, Paul Vasileff won a scholarship to Milan’s Istituto Europe di Design, living abroad for that year as he attended the school. Whilst at the institute, one of Paul’s designs was featured at London Fashion Week.
- Paul was the first South Australian to show in Paris. He launched his Couture Collection “Gilded Wings” there in 2016 at La Maison Champs Élysées.
- While he designs for many clients around the world, Paul runs his successful fashion empire from a gorgeous heritage building on Gouger Street in Adelaide’s CBD.
- Paul’s designs have been worn to The Academy Awards, the Daytime Emmy Awards and the Grammy Awards, and have been worn by celebrities including Kim Kardashian, Giuliana Rancic, Kris Jenner, Megan Gale, Delta Goodrem, Carrie Bickmore, Dannii Minogue, Rebecca Judd, Nadia Bartel, Rachael Finch and more.
- Carrie Bickmore won best dressed in a Paolo Sebastian design at the 2014 Logies.
- On November 9 2016, Paul Vasileff received the 2017 SA Young Australian of the Year Award.
- Heading up a team of 15, Paul designs and creates all of the Paolo Sebastian designer dresses and garments right here in South Australia, despite the lure of interstate and overseas opportunities.
In an interview Glam Adelaide had with Paul, he said this of his choice to stay in South Australia.
“We are so established here in Adelaide and I love my team. The celebrities we dress don’t care where we are because we still have to send the dresses over. If I moved to Sydney, well then when do I move overseas?” he said.
“We are an Adelaide made product. I don’t send my dresses overseas to be made. You want to go into Dior and buy a dress made in France. If you want a Paolo Sebastian, you want a dress that’s made in South Australia. That’s what our brand is and I want to stay true to that”.
And that, my fashion-loving friends, is why we are so proud to call Paul one of our own, and it’s also why we are completely over the moon that he’s taken out the well deserved honour of Young Australian of the Year for 2017. Just outstanding stuff.
Paolo Sebastian, Gilded Wings, Paris 2016 – photos below
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