At St Margaret’s 1998-2002; Prefect
Penelope Bell is an illustrator, designer and storyteller for luxury and heritage brands in the fashion, lifestyle and travel industries. She grew up in Central Western Queensland and boarded at St Margaret’s from Year 8. After finishing school, Penelope studied Fashion Design and, upon graduation, she established a fashion label before accepting an opportunity to work with a leading public relations and branding agency for luxury brands in the fashion and lifestyle industries in New York City.
Penelope returned to Brisbane and established her own business, illustrating and designing for leading brands including Max Mara, Michael Kors, Queens Plaza, Pacific Fair, Treasury Hotel, Queensland Art Gallery of Modern Art, Museum of Brisbane, Toowong Village, Camilla, Aje and the Brisbane Racing Club.
Committed to conscious responsibility in her creative practice, Penelope has re-launched her second Consciously Spending Less to Create More project.
She was the recipient of The Brisbane City Council’s Lord Mayor’s Young and Emerging Artist Fellowship in 2010, a finalist for 2007 Mercedes Benz Fashion Festival Australian Young Designer of the Year and a 2008 semi-finalist for ID Dunedin Fashion Week International Emerging Designer.
Reminiscing about her time at St Margaret’s, Penelope fondly recalls moving from her hometown where she had been schooled through distance education to the boarding house where she quickly became appreciative of the opportunities. “When I went to St Margaret’s my whole world exploded. I had all of these opportunities at my fingertips like sport, art and drama. I felt like I could do anything at school. I was encouraged to be the best version of myself and I loved that I had people who believed in me and encouraged me.”
Penelope has also found that the shared experience of attending St Margaret’s has connected her with old girls all over the world which has been valuable in finding mentors and establishing business relationships.