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Anna Koval and model Quinn Natalotto

A Roleystone student has been named as Cancer Council WA’s 2021 SunSmart Fashion Project winner for her unique garment design that comes complete with UV protection. 

19-year-old Curtin University student, Anna Koval, said her garment’s design was inspired by vintage sportswear trends.

“I noticed that my Instagram feed had a lot of two-tone designs which I thought looked really cool and were reminiscent of sportswear and tracksuit jackets worn in the 80s and 90s,” Ms Koval said.

“In addition to the sporty style of the dress that I thought would appeal for its casual look, my design included a high neck, elbow-length sleeves, and extended hem for extra skin coverage and UV protection.”

Students who undertook the ‘Garment and the Body’ fashion unit were asked to design functional, sun-protective attire that would also appeal to their peers.

“Before taking part in the competition I mistakenly thought that wearing a layer of sunscreen was the equivalent of covering up with clothing, but it turns out it’s not,” she said.

“When it comes to sun protection, not all fabrics are created equal and that’s why I chose to incorporate rayon spandex material in my garment’s design.

“The chosen material combined with bright colours, helped contribute to a higher UPF rating, adding extra UV protection to help prevent skin cancer and premature ageing.”

Curtin University’s Deputy Head of School of Design and the Built Environment, Dr Anne Farren, said that the chance for students to be involved in a health promotion project as significant as Cancer Council WA’s SunSmart Fashion Project was an excellent opportunity to challenge themselves while adhering to a real industry brief.

“This is the eighth year that we’ve been involved with the SunSmart Fashion Project and over that time we’ve seen our second-year fashion students really benefit from it, with the winner having direct engagement with industry to prepare their design for production,” Dr Farren said.

“Real world experience is a focus of the Fashion and Design course at Curtin University and the SunSmart program is a great example of this.”

SunSmart Manager, Sally Blane said Cancer Council WA was impressed by Ms Koval’s design.

“Because melanoma is the most common cancer in young Australians between the ages of 15 and 39, one of SunSmart’s aims is to create greater awareness amongst young people about the damage that prolonged exposure to UV can cause, and the competition is a great way to do this,” Ms Blane said.

“Thoughtful, creative designs such as Anna’s prove that being SunSmart can also be stylish and fun.”

With a limited production run, Ms Koval’s design will be available for purchase at Ruck Rover General Store at 242 William St, Northbridge from 16 November 2021.

For more information

Visit to learn more about the fashion project, UV radiation and sun protection.