BT Financial Group, in partnership with the Australian Fashion Council (AFC), is pleased to announce labels Courtney Holm of A.BCH, Minhee Jo of Aaizél and Blair Archibald of Blair Archibald as the finalists for the 2019 BT Emerging Fashion Designer Award.
The finalists were selected, from over 50 applications, by an esteemed panel of industry experts. The judges included Edwina McCann (Editorial Director, Vogue Australia, Vogue Living, GQ Australia and Co-Chair, Australian Fashion Council), Bianca Spender (Founder & Designer, Bianca Spender), Jaana Quaintance-James (Head of Sustainability & Ethical Sourcing, THE ICONIC), Melissa Singer (Fashion Editor, The Age and Sydney Morning Herald) and Rebecca Lim (Group Executive, Compliance, Legal & Secretariat, Westpac Group).
BT Financial Group’s General Manager Advice and Private Wealth, Jane Watts said “Now in its seventh year, we are extremely proud of the contribution the BT Emerging Fashion Designer Award has made to the next generation of designers. 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.”
The application criteria was updated this year to include a stronger focus on applicants’ sustainable and ethical practices within their business. This was considered an essential addition to ensure applicants were looking at how their business operates as a whole and how it impacts on the world around them.
Australian Fashion Council CEO David Giles-Kaye, said “The high calibre of entries this year highlights the strength of our emerging talent in Australia and the growing commitment towards conscious fashion. The AFC congratulates the chosen finalists for 2019, Aaizél, A.BCH and Blair Archibald, who have each demonstrated a focus on creating cutting edge design and building sustainable business foundations.”
The three finalists will present their collections alongside some of Australia’s most successful designers at the BT Runway event on 11 April 2019. Of the three finalists, one designer will be announced the winner on the night and will receive a prize valued at over $100,000.
The designers presenting their collections at BT Runway will include, Bianca Spender, Camilla and Marc, Carla Zampatti, Dion Lee, Ginger & Smart, Manning Cartell, Rachel Gilbert and Toni Maticevski. The event is run in support of the charity Dress for Success, whose mission is to empower women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire and development tools.
The initiative was first established in 2013 and has since become one of Australia’s most esteemed designer award events. The award has fostered the success of a number of Australian designers, who have all found success as established labels in the global market, including; Albus Lumen (2018), Kacey Devlin (2017), macgraw (2016), Emma Mulholland (2015), Michael Lo Sordo (2014) and Christopher Esber (2013).
About | A.BCH
A.BCH is an independent fashion label founded on hyper transparency and Whole Garment Design. Creating considered fashion and lifestyle pieces for global, conscious citizens, A.BCH is making responsible fashion desirable while removing many of the barriers customers face when seeking out healthier alternatives.
With the aim to see genuine change for good within the fashion industry, every piece put into the world is created with intent - from responsibly sourced fibres, threads and components, ethical supply chains and focus on the user phases to finally end of life. A.BCH is pioneering with circularity at the design level as Australia’s first fully circular label. A.BCH founder Courtney Holm is one of the leading voices in transparency and circularity in fashion.
About | Aaizél
A label synonymous with effortless, tough femininity and disheveled elegance, Aaizél has constructed and elevated everyday essentials in Australian sourced fabrics for the progressive girl with a poetic spirit. With everything being designed and produced in Melbourne, Aaizél pieces have a timeless and seasonless approach that cater to both hemispheres.
Aaizél has a unique approach to fashion, converging the influences of romantic and detailed European Art and traditional East Asian clothing construction. With a strong focus on structured silhouettes and undone styling, sharpened with a contemporary edge, the Aaizél girl is nomadic in her knowledge, while grounded in structure.
About | Blair Archibald
A contemporary label that investigates the relationship between soft tailoring, sports and workwear. The focus is on practicality, adaptability and maintaining a coherent narrative through the collections.
The brand is best known for two key design components. The first is engineering garments with longevity and sustainability through a minimalist aesthetic, using local production partners and highly considered fabrics. The second is an approach to design that reconfigures gender conventions by cutting silhouettes that are accessible to both men and women and softening the rigidity of commercial menswear silhouettes in Australia. This became the main precedent for starting the label as the designer dealt with gender identity issues and as a result, the integration of soft tailoring mixed with linear pattern making is a reflection of blurring those gender parameters in the work.
About | BT Financial Group
BT Financial Group has been helping Australians prepare for the best since 1969. Today BT Financial Group helps thousands of customers find superannuation, investment and insurance solutions to suit their personal needs and goals. They’re also a specialist in financial advice. BT Financial Group is the wealth management arm of the Westpac Group.
The BT Emerging Fashion Designer Award has been an important initiative for BT Financial Group, providing a platform to support emerging talent to reach their full potential by investing in and mentoring the growth of Australian designers.
BT Financial Group is delighted to continue their partnership with the Australian Fashion Council, as an organisation that promotes the growth of Australian design talent and the strengthening of the Australian fashion economy on a local and global scale.
About | Australian Fashion Council
The Australian Fashion Council (AFC) is a non-profit membership organisation with over 65 years of service to the industry. The AFC exists to promote the growth of the textile & fashion industry in Australia.
Members are drawn from across the fashion & textile industry value chain, and range from micro to large companies, education, state and national industry associations and students.
AFC activities and projects act to support five focus areas; strengthening supply chains, fostering design & innovation, promoting ethical practice, supporting emerging business and building Australian export.
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