The world is one step closer to discovering who will don the glittering crown of Australia’s hottest emerging fashion designer.
Out of 50 applicants, Blair Archibald, Courtney Holm and Minhee Jo were chosen as finalists of the BT Emerging Fashion Designer Award.
The finalists impressed a judging panel of industry elites including Edwina McCann (Vogue Australia editorial director and co-chair of the Australian Fashion Council (AFC)), Jaaana Quiantance-James (The Iconic’s head of sustainability and ethical sourcing), Rebecca Lim (Westpac Group’s group executive, compliance, legal and secretariat) and designer Bianca Spender.
Applicants were required to incorporate sustainable and ethical practices into their businesses. This benchmark was essential in highlighting whether the designers looked at their business operations as a whole.
“The high calibre of entries this year highlights the strength of our emerging talent in Australia and the growing commitment towards conscious fashion,” AFC CEO David Giles-Kaye says. “The AFC congratulates the chosen finalists for 2019 who have each demonstrated a focus on creating cutting-edge design and building sustainable fashion.”
Archibald, Holm and Jo will present their collections on 11 April at the BT Runway event alongside the nation’s leading designers including Camilla and Marc, Carla Zampatti, Manning Cartell and Dion Lee.
“The high calibre of entries this year highlights the strength of our emerging talent in Australia and the growing commitment towards conscious fashion,” – David Giles-Kaye
“Now in its 7th year, we are extremely proud of the contribution the BT Emerging Fashion Designer Award has made to the next generation of designers,” BT Financial Group’s General Manager Advice and Private Wealth Jane Watts says. “This year’s entries were of an exceptional standard and the finalists showcase the unique and diverse talent of Australia’s fashion industry.
“We look forward to presenting the Award in April 2019 and helping another emerging designer take their business to the next level of success.”
Now one of the country’s most esteemed designer award events, BT Emerging Fashion Designer Award was established in 2013 and has since fostered global success for many participants. The event is also held in support of Dress for Success – a charity striving to empower women in achieving economic independence.
The 2019 winner will be announced on the night and will receive a prize valued at more than A$100,000 including a A$10,000 cash grant from BT – the financial company acquired by Westpac Banking Corporation.
Meet the finalists
Courtney Holm, A.BCH
Wanting to create a circular economy standard, Courtney Holm founded independent fashion label A.BCH to provide responsible fashion pieces to globally aware citizens.
As the textiles industry is one of the leading causes of air and water pollution, Holm works to ensure every step is as thoughtful and sustainable as possible – buttons are crafted from seeds fallen from corozo fruit in Panama City, and the textiles made of organic, natural and recycled materials.
The Melbourne-based company offers full disclosure from fibre to finish about every piece so customers can trace all the materials used, down to the very last button.
Blair Archibald, Blair Archibald
The namesake label brings a new edge of practicality, adaptability and sustainability through its collections.
Blair Archibald is best known for its two design components: fabrics boasting longevity with a minimalist aesthetic; and reconfiguring gender stereotypes with designs suited to men and women.
As Archibald dealt with gender identity issues, he created the barrier-breaking business to soothe the traditional appearance of male clothes with soft tailoring.
Minhee Jo, Aaizél
Synonymous with effortless yet tough femininity, Aaizél oozes a dishevelled elegance with its everyday Australian essentials.
Jo sources fabrics suited to progressive women, infusing them with inspiration from European art and traditional East Asian clothing construction. Every step from design to production is carried out in Melbourne.
Aaizél’s focus on structured silhouettes and undone styling sharpened with a contemporary edge makes the brand stand out from the busy textile crowd.