At just 12 years old Sheldon College student Tayla McFarlane has been labelled as a name to watch in the Australian fashion industry. Tayla’s talent was recognised in the Queensland finals of the Apex Australia Teenage Fashion and Arts when she took out three top prizes in two categories.

Her talent was noticed a year earlier by the competition’s co-ordinator but Tayla had to wait until she was 12 to be eligible for the event. Her patience was rewarded when she won first and second places in the formal wear category and second in casual, qualifying for the national final in Melbourne. “If this is the future of fashion then the Australian fashion industry looks bright,” Queensland AATFA judge Carlie Wacker said. “Tayla has an eye and skill beyond her years and a style that transcends trends. The incredibly sophisticated garments she is designing and making now are pieces that will remain coveted in years to come. The industry and slow fashion movement call for timeless, well crafted, long lasting pieces – Tayla McFarlane answers the call. She is a name to watch – an Australian fashion superstar.”

Tayla started sewing after her mum Natalie bought her a sewing machine when she was seven years old. She started to design clothing two years later. “I design what I like to wear and what I think will suit young people of today,” she said. “I would describe my style as classy and elegant. I love to wear outfits that give me confidence and look sophisticated.”

At the age of nine, Tayla also set up a fashion label called 7roses. Her dream is to study design at the London College of Fashion and develop 7roses – named in honour of her Australian motorcross sports champion father Andrew who died in 2010 – into an international high-end fashion label. “Andrew McFarlane … was a famous motocross rider and his race number was seven and my middle name is Rose,” Tayla said. “My label 7roses means a lot to me.”

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