His home-grown creations have ruffled feathers across the globe, and now Adelaide’s Paul Vasileff has been honoured as Young Australian of the Year.
The 26-year-old received the award at a ceremony in Parliament House’s Great Hall on Wednesday night.
The fashion designer made history in 2016 – becoming the first South Australian to show a collection in Paris.
His luxury designs, under the couture label Paolo Sebastian, are hand-made by a dozen locally-employed staff in Adelaide.
They are sold in boutiques around the world, including New York, and are often featured on runways and worn by celebrities on red carpets at the Oscars.
The Kardashians, style guru Giuliana Rancic, and host of ‘The Project’ Carrie Bickmore have been among his big-name clients.
Mr Vasileff founded the brand at the age of 17 – six years after stitching his first dress with the help of his grandmother.
He graduated from Milan’s prestigious Europea Istituto di Design and, despite being told he could never achieve international success unless he left Australia, has been working out of his hometown ever since.
The judges noted the entrepreneur served as an inspiration to all young Australians chasing big dreams, and was proof that global success could be achieved from anywhere with the right attitude.
“His commitment to creating local jobs and keeping his business in Australia is to be admired as is his self-belief in pursuing his creativity and art as an entrepreneurial pathway.”