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Adrian Hailwood GetsTo Learn From Karen Walkek

Media Release

20 December 2005


Air New Zealand Fashion Week Export Growth Award benefits another designer

Fashion designer Adrian Hailwood will get the opportunity of a lifetime next year during London Fashion Week thanks to Karen Walker and her Air New Zealand Fashion Week Export Growth Award.

Karen Walker won the inaugural Air New Zealand Fashion Week Export Growth Award in October with a strong export growth plan focused on London Fashion Week and a proposal to dedicate half of the lucrative prize package to support an up and coming New Zealand fashion designer.

The Air New Zealand Fashion Week Export Growth Award was open to all designers showing at Air New Zealand Fashion Week 2004 and offered a prize of four business class tickets on Air New Zealand to any of the airline's international destinations (to a maximum value of $32,000). In addition Hilton Auckland is providing up to five nights' accommodation in any two of its 250 branded Hilton International properties worldwide, with New Zealand Trade and Enterprise providing some export development support.

Ms Walker says Adrian Hailwood was a stand-out for selection to "shadow" her in February when she will be showing at London Fashion Week for the sixth time.

"Adrian's clearly hungry to grow his business and to export, and his latest collection is thoughtful and has a fresh look which is important in terms of potential export success. Also I think having a label that shares some common values/moods with mine is a benefit too as there's an easier fit with the people I'll be able to introduce him to.

"He's got the confidence you need in this game and he's proactive, but he also knows there are gaps in his knowledge and experience and he's keen to learn," says Ms Walker.

"Adrian's had some good sales success now, has strengthened his infrastructure, learned some lessons via Air New Zealand Fashion Week and I'm confident that spending some time with my industry and media contacts in London and getting to see how we put on an international fashion show will really help him get to the next level."

For his part Adrian says he is "absolutely thrilled" to have the opportunity of going to London Fashion Week with Karen and benefiting from the NZTE support which Karen has donated to him. "I'm really chuffed. I totally rate Karen and the gesture of her not only taking me but trusting me and seeing my potential is really special."

And he's already worked out what he wants to get out of the London trip. "There are a number of things that I want to achieve while with Karen, namely seeing how London Fashion Week works and what Karen is dealing with to produce an international show. I'd also like to meet some potential buyers to show them a small range and to generally hang with Karen to learn the ropes."

Adrian, who already has stockists in London, Japan, Dubai, Singapore and Los Angeles, is keen to increase sales in Asia and Europe. He says the opportunity to learn from Karen and to meet some of her contacts is "priceless" and he's confident his export business will benefit as a result.

Air New Zealand General Manager Marketing, Network and Sales Norm Thompson says the judges were impressed with Karen Walker's export strategy and were confident considerable export growth would be achieved from her using the Award to support her efforts at London Fashion Week.

"What's more, the opportunity she will give to Adrian is extremely generous and will undoubtedly help boost his export efforts. Such an introduction to the world fashion market from someone of Karen's calibre and connections is something quite unique."

New Zealand Trade and Enterprise Creative Industries Sector Manager Paul Blomfield says the Government agency is proud to support New Zealand's burgeoning fashion industry and applauds Karen Walker's move to assist an emerging exporter.

Air New Zealand also awarded a second travel prize valued at $16,000 to emerging Auckland knitwear exporter Insidious Fix in recognition of their superb export potential.

Established by Kylee Davis and Jason Crawford nine years ago, Insidious Fix is set to use its travel prize to increase exports of its designer knitwear to Australia and Asia.

"Our first trip is to Melbourne to meet with our agent and to do some market research. Next year we want to follow-up with a number of contacts in Asia which we made at Air New Zealand Fashion Week 2004 in an effort to secure some more stockists of our unique, sexy knitwear. Without this award any significant travel would have been prohibitive," says Ms Davis.

Mr Thompson says the judges were thrilled with the level of interest in the award and excited by all the export plans the designers outlined in their entries.

"We received high quality entries from designers across the spectrum and to be able to support the plans of three designers at different stages of their export business is very exciting."


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