My Brimbank: Salih Nesim

Emerging designer Salih Nesim, 21, tells Neslim Djemal why he has his sights set on a successful career in the Australian fashion industry.


How long have you been living in Brimbank?

I’ve lived in Brimbank since I was young; I’ve grown up in the area. Going to school at Lakeview Senior College in Caroline Springs, I gained a strong group of friends supporting and believing in me.


What sparked your interest in the fashion industry?

My uncle was part of the industry, and I remember one time when I was watching cartoons as a child, he changed the channel to the fashion channel and told me that, from now on, I had to start watching it. My uncle is a massive Versace fanatic, and his love of fashion was passed on to me. I also remember going to bridal shops and shopping for dresses with my mother and aunties, quite often when I was younger which I believe increased my interest in fashion


What major awards have you won?

I won the TAFE Designer of the Year award for Fashion Awards Australia in 2014 due to my $26,000 gem-encrusted gown, which I finished a day before the event. The dress took me four weeks to make, and I was working on it constantly day and night. I’m in the process of making a dress for Ellenor Jones, who is the Miss United Continents Australia delegate.


Is there anyone you particularly draw on for inspiration?

I feel like Australia has its own sense of style, which is something I love, and I definitely look up to Steven Khalil and J’aton. I also look up to a great friend of mine, Alin Le Kal, who is doing really well for himself as a young designer breaking into the fashion scene.


How strongly does fashion impact your day-to-day life and activities?

I have a regular stylist job, so even if I’m not designing, I’m always styling. The styling aspect is also important to me as it’s taught me how to recognise what will work for each individual. When designing, I have to alter each dress to each individual. I really want to focus on presentation and the feeling a woman has when she wears something special.


Do you have any major goals for the future?

Right now I am planning to re-enter the Fashion Awards Australia, which is the competition I won previously. I’m hoping to do some red carpet work in the next year or two, and I’m hoping, by the age of 30, to open up my own boutique and build up a stronger clientele with a strong brand image.