DHL, the world's leading express and logistics company, is calling for emerging fashion exporters to enter the fifth annual DHL Express Fashion Export Scholarship.
Designed to identify the country’s hottest up-and-coming fashion exporter and assist them in achieving international growth, the scholarship is open to New Zealand designers who have been exporting for less than four years.
New this year, DHL Express is allowing online exporters to enter the scholarship. This means fashion exporters who may not have a traditional retail front, but who export online are eligible for the scholarship.
Megan Wildermoth, national strategic account manager (fashion and textiles) at DHL Express, says, "Online retailing has become a powerful channel to market, particularly for the fashion industry.
"For the last five years of the scholarship we’ve seen the proliferation of entrants who are embracing the online environment and we want the scholarship to reflect the changing shape of the fashion export industry," adds Megan Wildermoth.
The winner of the scholarship will receive international freight to the value of NZ$10,000, as well as coaching in freight and logistics from DHL Express.
All three finalists will receive individual export mentoring and an annual membership subscription from Fashion Industry New Zealand (FINZ).
FINZ executive officer, Paul Blomfield, says, "The term ‘fashion’ is very broad and this year we want to encompass the full breadth of the industry. This includes knitwear, outerwear, children’s wear, merino specialists and accessories.
"It is very important for the industry that new fashion companies make that big step into export and are successful at it. This scholarship provides much needed assistance for talented New Zealand fashion exporters, but also lends a tremendous amount of credibility to help them win business offshore," adds Paul Blomfield.
For last year’s winner, Hamilton-based fashion brand NYNE, the DHL Express Fashion Export Scholarship has been tremendously valuable.
"We urge all those considering entering the awards to do so. Winning the award has really boosted our brand image and credibility nationally and internationally. Not only that, the entry itself forces you to take a look at your business, its successes and weaknesses, an invaluable exercise," says Miranda Scott-Simmonds, co-founder and designer of NYNE.
Entrants are required to complete an official application form and submit lookbooks from previous collections. Applications will be judged across several categories, including ‘brand and design’, ‘sales and marketing’ and ‘export strategy’.
DHL Express Fashion Export Scholarship opens for entries on Monday, 1 October 2012, and closes on Monday, 29 October 2011. Application forms are available from the FINZ website: www.finz.co.nz/DHLExportScholarship