Moruya's Maxwell Kelleher has his sights on Japan

Fashion designer, Maxwell Kelleher, has been selected as one of four finalists in a design competition being held by Mazda Australia, which could see him travelling to Japan to meet with the brands Chief of Design. The winner will be awarded a trip to Mazda’s Japan Headquarters to experience a mentorship experience with Mazda’s Global Design Chief, Ikuo Maeda Celebrating the arrival of Mazda’s first-ever MX-30 model, the challenge will see students

inspired by design techniques and fabrics utilised in the MX-30. Materials such as vegan

leather, heritage cork, and repurposed plastic waste will be used throughout the challenge, with RMIT Fashion and Textiles Design students creating pieces that are innovative and sustainable whilst being fashion-forward.

Maxwell grew up in Moruya, and is currently studying a Bachelor of Fashion Design Honours at RMIT, which has seen him being offered the chance to compete in the sustainability-driven design challenge being held by Mazda Australia. With a strong interest in sustainability and the future of fashion, Maxwell was offered one of the finalist places and is currently creating his finished piece which will be judged by fashion icon Margie Woods and Mazda staff. To provide students with practical knowledge and guidance on designing commercially successful designs that are conscious and considered, Mazda Australia has partnered with Margie Woods from sustainability-focused fashion label Viktoria & Woods.

With sustainability being an intrinsic part of her brand, Margie will mentor each student finalist throughout the challenge, imparting knowledge from her journey of creating Viktoria & Woods and championing everlasting, sustainable products.

To ensure all of the students’ projects are meeting sustainable guidelines, each project will be reviewed and aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals; a set of 17 global goals that are designed to be a blueprint for achieving a better and more sustainable future for all.

Maxwell entered fashion through drawing a lot as a hobby, and was approached by a friend to work together to put his drawings on t shirts, to sell to make some pocket money. Growing up Maxwell never even considered fashion as a career, but after one university open day his outlook changed forever and forced one of his friends to immediately teach him how to sew. Moving forward, Maxwell has a proven passion for design and has created works that rival established designers.