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NZ's Frances Howie Wins Smirnoff Fashion Award

Frances Howie of New Zealand wins URBAN FUSION Smirnoff International Fashion Awards 2001



TORONTO, Nov. 30 /CNW-AsiaNet/ --

Frances Howie of New Zealand was awarded the prestigious title of Smirnoff Designer of The Year at the 17th annual Smirnoff International Fashion Awards. This spellbinding multimedia Smirnoff Urban Fusion experience showcased eleven young designers from countries across the globe at Kool Haus in Toronto, before a crowd of more than a thousand people.

The Urban Fusion designs, models, music and dance performances assailed the senses creating a fantastic club experience more expansive than traditional fashion pageantry. The high energy level prevailed throughout the night, with headlining dj David Morales, pioneer of NYC house, closing the party down at 4:00a.m.

The most sought after student fashion award in the world, the Smirnoff Awards involve students from every continent competing to win the Grand Prize including a cash bursary of pnds stlg 15,000, automatic acceptance into the renowned Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in London, England, sponsorship of the student's graduating show and public relations representation for one year, a prize totaling pnds stlg 50,000.

Howie's winning designs are a virtual patchwork of contrasting cultures and identities. She incorporated tribal prints, graffiti, bolded stripes on Lurex knits and woven textiles, a stunning combination that reflected the New Zealand culture fused with global urbanity.

Smirnoff's URBAN FUSION second prize was awarded to Estabiliz Pecharroman from Spain and third prize to Colette Moore from the Republic of Ireland.

All of the participants affected the judges with the purity of their creations, and the final decision was difficult to make. "We are proud and thrilled for Frances as we are for all the other finalists who have displayed outstanding creativity," said David Racicot, Director, Global Marketing, The Smirnoff Company.

The esteemed panel of judges included Haydain Neale, lead singer for jacksoul, Lana Ogilvie, model/actress, Todd Lynn, designer, George Yabu and Glenn Pushelberg interior design team of Yabu Pushelberg, Bonnie Brooks, General Manager for Dickson Concepts, and Jeanne Beker, Host and Voice of Fashion Television and the Fashion Television Channel.

Smirnoff funds and wholly owns the Awards, providing ongoing support and contribution to the international fashion industry. Net proceeds from last night's Smirnoff's URBAN FUSION event will go to the AIDS Committee of Toronto (ACT).

For further information: Clara Northcott/ Antonella Giannone, Northcott Communications Inc. (416) 504-4405

SOURCE: Smirnoff International Fashion Awards;


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