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Australasian fashion competition failing to pay out prize

Australasian fashion competition fails to pay out $10,000 prize
Winning NZ designer feeling disheartened and frustrated

Dunedin-based fashion designer Emily Scott hasn’t yet received the $10,000 prize money she is entitled to after winning the inaugural Australian Graduates Fashion Week held at Carriageworks in Sydney in November 2012.

After several broken promises about payment from the event’s Project Manager, Elmedin (Elmo) Kumalic, Emily is now concerned she may never receive her $10,000, nor the swag of other merchandise she won including a $5,000 website created by Fly Finch Fly, a double-page spread in the international magazine, CIELO, and a substantial cosmetics and accessories gift pack.

“It’s been so difficult to contact Elmo – he has only occasionally replied to my repeated emails and messages,” she explains. “When I have managed to get hold of him, he first told me the money would be through before Christmas. Then he said by 11-14 January, and finally I was informed it would be in my account by Wednesday 23 January. However, there’s still no sign of it. I’m really disappointed and upset and I think it’s incredibly unprofessional.”

The Bachelor of Design (Fashion) graduate from Otago Polytechnic beat out 31 others from New Zealand and Australia to win Australian Graduates Fashion Week, thanks to her colourful and progressive collection.

Not only did Emily pay for her own airfares and accommodation in Sydney, she also paid organisers an entry fee of $AUD79.

“I was so excited about winning,” recalls Emily. “It was amazing to be praised by the judges. They said my collection was cohesive, and they loved the accessories and colours used. They also said they appreciated the unconventional cuts of my garments. All that excitement and elation has now disappeared, really. I feel let down and really frustrated.”

Otago Polytechnic’s Academic Leader – Fashion, Margo Barton, says she’s extremely concerned that one of her graduates appears to have been ripped off. “This is an appalling way to treat a young designer, and the organisers of this event should be very embarrassed. It’s a disgrace that such an exciting moment in Emily’s career has been tarnished by this level of unprofessionalism. She deserves her prize.”

The judging panel at Australian Graduates Fashion Week was made up of fashion designers Nicola Finetti, Paolo Sebastian and Phoenix Keating; Editor of CIELO magazine, Dimitri Frost; and international fashion photographer, Elvis Di Fazio.

More information about the event can be found on the following websites:


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