Jody Carheel is shining a white hot light on the next generation of Perth fashion designers.

The young entrepreneur could see that WA was brimming with creative talent who were grounded by a pandemic, but left with no avenue to showcase their work thanks to the Telstra Perth Fashion Festival becoming defunct in late 2019.

So the 28-year-old founded Social Australia Fashion Events, kicking off his calling card with the inaugural White Light Social runway this weekend, that he hopes will act as a middle ground for emerging local designers finding their feet — and their label.

“Once you graduate there’s no first step, you start a label or you move to the eastern states,” Carheel told AAA.

“We have talent here in Perth and I feel like we need a platform to put that on display, not just for Perth but to the other states as well.”

Young designers Tia Durtanovich, 22, and Ruby Watkins, 23, were two local fashion graduates thrust into the industry with no obvious stepping stones — finding their feet with retail work and internships until an invite from Carheel arrived.

VR Niti Sejpal