Three of New Zealand’s top emerging fashion exporters are a step closer to winning the highly coveted DHL Express Fashion Export Scholarship following an announcement today.
The competition was tougher than ever this year with online only exporters being eligible for the first time. However the star cast of judges that included iconic designer Kate Sylvester, entrepreneur Erica Crawford, fashion commentator Carolyn Enting, DHL’s Megan Wildermoth and Fashion Industry New Zealand (FINZ) Chairman Paul Blomfield are pleased to announce the following:
The 2012 DHL Express Fashion Export Scholarship finalists are (in alphabetical order):
- I Love Ugly, (Auckland) www.iloveugly.net
- Ingrid Starnes, designer Ingrid Starnes (Auckland) www.ingridstarnes.com
- Kowtow, designer Gosia Piatek (Wellington) www.kowtowclothing.com
The winning scholarship package includes international freight to the value of NZ$10,000, coaching in freight and logistics from DHL Express, a tailored export mentoring package from Fashion Industry New Zealand (FINZ) and an annual FINZ membership.
Fashion designers from around New Zealand were invited to submit a design portfolio together with their formal application and were judged last week by fashion and exporting industry leaders. It is the first year that online only exporters were included in the competition.
"Fashion is an important sector of New Zealand’s export market and through the DHL Express Fashion Export Scholarship we’ll continue to support this industry and help grow its success," says Megan Wildermoth, national strategic account manager (fashion and textiles) at DHL Express New Zealand.
"DHL Express opened the scholarship to online only exporters for the first time this year in recognition of the importance of online export as a channel to market. We were delighted with the calibre of entrants but the chosen three are impressive in the New Zealand fashion scene and have demonstrated strong export potential in terms of design and strategy," adds Megan Wildermoth.
This is what all the judges had to say about the finalists:
I Love Ugly,
"I Love Ugly has a strong and strategic online presence that compliments traditional retail and this will allow them to expand. Their range is easy, very sell-able online and they offer the full range of products in the men’s wear range. They have a great vision, they know exactly what they want, what they have to do to achieve it and already have a fan base amongst its target market."
"Ingrid Starnes has a complete collection that’s beautifully put together with a lot of style. She has a very strong design aesthetic that is very well supported domestically. With her business foundations already in place and a clear export strategy, she has the potential to really take off in export markets."
"Kowtow has a distinctive point of difference with their sustainability angle and that provides them with great opportunities globally. The designer Gosia has a clear export strategy with plenty of room to expand. Her design aesthetic is timeless, ageless and has an enduring quality the means it will last more than one season. Gosia has exhibited some real depth to the Kowtow brand."
The winner of the DHL Express Fashion Export Scholarship will be announced at an awards event and fashion installation at 6.30pm on Tuesday 13 November in Auckland.