BT emerging fashion designer award 2017 finalists announced

5 min read

BT together with the Australian Fashion Chamber is pleased to announce labels We are Kindred, Kacey Devlin and Celeste Tesoriero as the finalists for the 2017 BT Emerging Fashion Designer Award.

The winner will be announced at the BT Runway for Success event on 27 April 2017, with the first place prize valued at over $70,000. All three finalists will present their collections alongside some of Australia’s most successful designers.

2017 marks the fifth year for one of Australia’s most prestigious fashion design awards and this year’s winner will join the ranks of previous recipients macgraw (2016), Emma Mullholland (2015) Michael Lo Sordo (2014) and Christopher Esber (2013).

Beth MacGraw who, along with her sister Tess MacGraw, were the winners of the 2016 BT Emerging Fashion Designer Award said: “2016 was a massive year for macgraw as a brand. We received such incredible recognition from the industry for our work to date. The financial advice we have received from BT as part of our award is giving us the foundation and confidence to take the brand to the next level. We are so appreciative of the opportunities presented to us as winners of the 2016 BT Emerging Fashion Designer Award.”

This year’s Award provides the winning designer with a total value prize of over $70,000 comprising:

  • A $10,000 cash grant;
  • Two years of financial planning services provided by BT;
  • An Australian Fashion Chamber membership;
  • Two mentoring sessions with a fashion industry icon provided by the Australian Fashion Chamber;
  • Accounting and business advisory services for two years, provided by Bentleys NSW;
  • Two premium economy return flights to New York courtesy of QANTAS;
  • Backstage hair services for two major fashion events; and two look books or editorial shoots by TONI&GUY;
  • A one year subscription with new media content business Flaunter; 
  • A Jeroboam of Champagne Taittinger Brut Reserve & up to $4,500 of Champagne Taittinger products for the winner to use at their post awards events from Champagne Taittinger & McWilliam’s Wines. 

BT Financial Group, General Manager, Private Wealth, Jane Watts said the award is an important BT initiative, providing it with the opportunity to help the next generation of Australian fashion designers against the backdrop of far reaching disruptive forces which are impacting  the Australian fashion industry value chain.

“BT is extremely proud to see these Australian designers go from strength-to-strength and to help them reach their full potential,” Ms Watts added.

BT has been assisting Australians establish, protect and grow their wealth since 1969. BT is delighted to continue its partnership with the Australian Fashion Chamber which promotes the growth of Australian fashion design talent.

The judges for this year’s award include a host of industry experts including Vogue Australia Editor-in-Chief and Australian Fashion Chamber Chairman Edwina McCann; Amanda Shadforth from Oracle Fox; Founder Whitehouse Institute of Design Leanne Whitehouse, Mareile Osthus from the Iconic and Westpac Chief Compliance Officer & Group General Counsel, Rebecca Lim.

About We are Kindred
Established in 2014 by siblings, best friends, and kindreds, Lizzie and Georgie Renkert, the Australian label is a celebration of harmony and symbiosis. With firm foundations in cutting-edge techniques and design innovations, We Are Kindred provides a careful curation of seasonal must-haves and timeless basics, speaking directly to women, now. With the combined support of notable fashion press, including Vogue, Marie Claire and InStyle as well as the likes of Jessica Alba, Isabel Lucas and Australia’s powerful blogging elite, We Are Kindred has quickly evolved to be one of the country’s most successful emerging labels. 

About Kasey Devlin 
KACEY/DEVLIN aims to question the fallacies and fictions that clothing has adapted over time, through ‘the undone’. Inspired by the unconscious decisions we make, each collection begins with a short film, where wearers engage directly with unfamiliar garments. It is these gestures and movements that inform KACEY/DEVLIN pattern cutting and construction decisions. Although conceptual, KACEY/DEVLIN is firmly grounded in wearability and quality construction. Combining luxury silk and wool blends, textured knits and leathers, KACEY/DEVLIN garments visually and conceptually converse with one another, allowing for ongoing curiosity and interaction.

About Celeste Tesoriero 
Celeste’s raw, effortless design style successfully creates garments her loyal customers have come to instantly recognise by constructing clothing that appears effortless yet feels luxurious. Japanese inspired silhouettes, artistic prints and natural fabrications are woven together with Celeste’s relaxed Australian aesthetic to create designs evidently carefully curated. 2016 / 2015 NOMINATIONS have included Tiffany & Co National Designer Award, WGSN Global Fashion “Breakthrough Talent” Award, International Woolmark Prize, Prix De Marie Claire ‘Fashion With Heart’ Award.

About BT Financial Group 
BT Financial Group is the wealth management arm of the Westpac Group. BT has been helping Australians prepare for the best since 1969. Today BT helps thousands of customers find superannuation, investment, financial advice and insurance solutions to suit their personal needs and goals.

About the Australian Fashion Chamber 
The Australian Fashion Chamber was established as a not-for-profit organisation, united by the vision to strengthen, promote and develop Australian fashion design by nurturing talent, originality and facilitating success in Australia and globally. Led by Chairman and Editor-in-Chief of Vogue Australia Edwina McCann, the Australian Fashion Chamber was officially launched in the beginning of 2014.


Information is current as at 13/03/2017.

Mike Willesee
0466 379 081

Lisa Parrett
0432 933 796