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DHL Express Awards Top Fashion Designers

DHL Express Awards Top Fashion Designers with Export Scholarship


Auckland, Friday 13 November, 2009 – The designers of Kiwi fashion label Lonely Hearts have won the hotly contested 2009 DHL Express Fashion Export Scholarship and are set to advance on the global fashion market.

DHL, the world's leading express and logistics company, announced the designers behind Lonely Hearts, Aimee McFarlane, Helene Morris and Steve Ferguson, as the grand winners of the 2009 DHL Fashion Export Scholarship, today establishing them as New Zealand’s top emerging fashion exporters.

DHL Express New Zealand, Fashion and Textile Strategic Account Manager, Jason Orlop says, “The Lonely Hearts designers presented an impressive submission. Not only are they producing distinctive fashion design, they also have strong financials, good off-shore accounts and a team of three who demonstrate a collaborative approach to all areas of their business.

“DHL Express is proud to support up-and-coming designers in achieving international growth with a prize package that includes freight to the value of NZ$10,000 and coaching in freight and logistics from DHL Express. As well as an individually tailored export mentoring package from FINZ and an annual FINZ membership.

“We are really looking forward to working with Lonely Hearts over the coming months and helping them to grow their business internationally.”

Steve Ferguson, Creative Director of Lonely Hearts says, “The scholarship creates a platform for us to push into different markets. We have been exporting to Australia for a few years now and our growth will come from further expansion internationally. The $10,000 in freight will help us grow our label by expanding in Australia while entering the key markets of Japan, the U.S. and U.K. with samples, look books and fabric swatches to complement our already successful web site”.

Liz Findlay of Zambesi and one of the judges of the DHL Express Fashion Export Scholarship, says, “Lonely Hearts focused on their overall strategy and the creativity of their collection was exceptional. I think they have a great future ahead of them.”

Mapihi Opai, Executive Officer of Fashion Industry New Zealand (FINZ), who was also a member of the judging panel, commented, “Lonely Hearts was the unanimous choice as the recipient of this year’s DHL Express Fashion Export Scholarship. Their achievements to date are truly outstanding and the judges were presented with a very sophisticated export strategy.

“In Lonely Hearts, we saw a team of genuine entrepreneurs. What impressed the judges most was their finely tuned awareness of the changing fashion landscape and the way that they addressed the needs of retailers and consumers alike. Their design aesthetic showed a real point of difference that is sure to appeal to key fashion export markets.”

The scholarship was judged by five of New Zealand’s top fashion and exporting industry leaders: Liz Findlay of Zambesi, one of New Zealand’s most respected fashion designers; Fiona Hawtin, editor of Fashion Quarterly; Sarah Gibbs, founder and co-director of natural beauty product company Trilogy; Mapihi Opai, Executive Officer of Fashion Industry New Zealand (FINZ); and Jason Orlop, Fashion and Textile Strategic Account Manager of DHL Express New Zealand.

Liz Findlay was pleased with the high number and quality of entries for this year’s scholarship and is confident that the future of New Zealand’s fashion industry is in capable hands. 

“The designers that entered this year’s scholarship were very impressive. They each showed a mixture of creativity, ingenuity and business savvy that is vital when taking on international markets – not to mention enthusiasm and proven success.”

The finalists for the 2009 DHL Express Fashion Export Scholarship included Lonely Hearts, Salasai and Twenty Seven Names.

DHL is committed to its partnership with the fashion industry in New Zealand and recognises it as an important export sector. DHL provides extensive express services to New Zealand’s leading designers including products tailored specifically to the apparel industry and the requirements of this dynamic market.

The DHL Fashion Export Scholarship presents an invaluable opportunity for emerging fashion exporters to help grow their businesses internationally and DHL looks forward to continuing this support in the future.


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