Life On The Job

Famous or Historic People

Paul Sebastian Vasileff (5 May 1990 - ) Fashion Designer, Young Australian of the Year 2017



With a passion for fashion, Paul Vasileff stitched his first dress at the tender age of 11, created countless formal dresses for friends in his teens and was just 16 when he showcased his first fashion collection.

The young boy who learnt to sew with his grandmother graduated from Milan’s prestigious Europeo Istituto di Design and is now the brains behind couture label Paolo Sebastian. At just 26, this down-to-earth designer operates a growing business in Adelaide with 15 staff.

Paul’s luxurious hand-made creations are favourites on the world’s runways, are stocked in boutiques in New York and around the globe, and are worn by celebrities walking the red carpet at the Oscars and Logies.

Determined to create a local brand, all Paul’s designs are stitched in South Australia, and he has proven that there’s no need to relocate to succeed in the high-octane world of fashion. Paul's recipe for success? Perfectionism, stubbornness and an enduring belief that there’s no place like home. (Source: Australian of the Year)

With PM
Paul with Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull at announcement of Young Australian of the Year
(Source: Smartcompany)

Education & Training:

Paul Sebastian Vasileff was born in Adelaide. Vasileff showed an aptitude for the arts as a child, and attended private art lessons from the age of three.

Much of his introduction to sewing was under the guidance of his grandmother. He later went on to take private pattern-making lessons. At age eleven, Vasileff made his first design for a childhood friend.

The designer launched the label, Paolo Sebastian, in 2007 with his first runway show. The launch was part of his senior year of high school, and featured sixty three designs. He often states that the success of this launch is shared with the family and friends who supported the event. (Source: Wikipedia)

Carrie Bickmore at the 2016 Logies
Carrie Bickmore at the 2016 Logie Awards wearing a Paolo Sebastian creation

“In year 12 [ at Christian Brothers College], I did a subject called Extension Studies. I planned a fashion show to raise money for charity and investigate the process, so I combined that with launching my label so all my subjects were focussed on my fashion show,” he said.

“I had no expectations for the show but it was the most fun I’ve ever had. We had 660 people there and we raised about $2000 for CanTeen. I did a 63-piece collection which was really ambitious and I had all my best friends model with me,” he said.

After graduating and completing a year at TafeSA, Vasileff contacted Di Fabio Brothers Tailoring in Pulteney Street who agreed to teach him some tricks of the trade.

“I wanted to learn more about craftsmanship and they focus on hand work and old school techniques. The Di Fabio Brothers trained in Milan and migrated to Australia in the 50s and they said I could come in and do a couple of days a week, then towards the end of that year a scholarship program came up,” he said.

Vasileff won the scholarship to go to Milan to the exclusive European Institute of Design and the 19-year-old moved away from his family at their Grange home and flew to Italy for a year. (Source: GLAMAdelaide)

At work
Paul at work

Experiences & Employment:

January 2015 saw Vasileff move his business into the Adelaide CBD, opening the Paolo Sebastian atelier. The designer launches two couture collections each year, priding himself on close attention to detail and the creation of a grand story through couture.

Vasileff's designs have been worn to The Academy Awards, the Daytime Emmy Awards and the Grammy Awards.

In October 2015 and 2016 Vasileff closed the Adelaide Fashion Festival with two sold out Paolo Sebastian runway shows.

On November 9, 2016, Paul Vasileff received the 2017 SA Young Australian of the Year Award. (Source: Wikipedia)

Delta in one of Paul's dresses
(Source: Smartcompany)


Going to Milan’s prestigious Europeo Istituto di Design to train and having one of his creations displayed at the London Fashion Show while he was training in Milan!

Europeo Istituto di Design


Did You Know?

Vasileff has appeared as a fashion commentator on
The Morning Show (Seven Network), and for Who Magazine.

Paolo Sebastian designs have also appeared on the following television programs: The Bold and the Beautiful, Days of Our Lives, Home and Away.

Notable clients include:

Kim Kardashian
Giuliana Rancic
Kris Jenner
Sonam Kapoor
Corinne Foxx
Megan Gale
Delta Goodrem
Carrie Bickmore
Rachael Finch
Dannii Minogue
Ada Nicodemou
Rebecca Judd
Nadia Bartel
 (Source: Wikipedia)

In 2014, E! host Giuliana Rancic wore a Paolo Sebastian dress for an Oscars broadcast, but the zip broke live on air, leaving co-host Ryan Seacrest to help stick it back together with tape while the television channel continued its coverage of the awards.

The host still raved about the designs and Vasileff later apologised and met Rancic on one of her trips to Australia, with the whole saga eventually boosting awareness of the Paolo Sebastian brand.
(Source: Smartcompany)

Paul’s inimitable dresses are stocked in Kuwait, Turkey, Shanghai, Canada and New York City. (Source: Clique)


Paolo Sebastian - website

Australian of the Day

Australian of the Day
ABC News: Video of Acceptance Speech for Young Australian of the Year

ABC News
GLAM Adelaide 12 May 2016

GLAM Adelaide
The Advertiser 26 October 2015

The Advertiser

GLAM Adelaide 6 May 2014

GLAM Adelaide
Clique 3 August 2016




YouTube: The International Couture Designer From Adelaide 


YouTube: 2017 Young Australian Of The Year: Paul Vasileff
(URL: )


YouTube: Paolo Sebastian: A Journey To Paris
(URL: )

YouTube: Paolo Sebastian: Behind the Seams | MAKERS WHO INSPIRE



What inspires you?

PrimaryPrimary MiddleMiddle  High SchoolSecondary

Critical & Creative ThinkingAustralian Curriculum General Capability: Critical & Creative Thinking

Personal and social capabilityAustralian Curriculum General Capability: Personal and social capability
Australian Curriculum General Capability: Literacy

Ethical Understanding Australian Curriculum General Capability: Ethical Understanding

ICT Capability Australian Curriculum General Capability: ICT Capability

1. You are to read the following article about Paul from - 8 July 2015

News 8 July 2015

2. What did you learn from this interview about Paul? What "sort" of bloke is he? Write down at least 10 things you have learnt about him.

What things inspired you? Why? Why not? Share with a partner.

3. Since this interview, Paolo Sebastian Label has had more successes and Paul himself has been named Young Australian of the Year in 2017.

Create a list of questions [at least 5 questions] you would personally now like to ask Paul about himself and his business.

Share your questions with a partner explaining your reasoning for these questions.

4. As Paolo Sebastian has no slogan, you are to invent one.

Read the following advice and with the Free Slogan Maker - start creating!

7 Tips for creating a slogan

Slogan Maker

What slogan did you come up with that describes Paul Vasileff and particularly his business Paolo Sebastian? Share with your partner.

5. Paul started creating and sewing dresses when he was 11. What are your aspirations? What things do you like doing? Do you think you could make your passions into a business?

 Again, using the Free Slogan Maker, create a slogan or mantra that describes your aspirations - what you would like to do with your life!

Share with your friends and ask for feedback. Does your slogan or mantra really suit you as a person or the business you want to carry out? After you have reflected on this, share with a partner.


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