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First Ladies Of Fashion Win Top Scholarship

Press Release


August 2011

First Ladies Of Fashion Win Top Scholarship

Kat Gee and Kathryn Wilson, two very different, yet equally talented New Zealand fashion designers have both been awarded the 2011 NZBusiness ICEHOUSE Owner Manager Scholarship.

Each designer will participate in the ICE Bridge Owner Manager Programme which is held over five consecutive months. The purpose of the programme is to provide the necessary skills to help established or mature owner-managers manage the turbulent phases, and set them on the path to greater success through the implementation of a strategic growth plan.

A tie for winning place made sense for competition sponsor NZBusiness Magazine Editor Glenn Baker “These two entries really stood out. In fact, Kat and Kathryn almost seemed to mirror each other in terms of vision and passion for their individual businesses. They’re both ambitious, energetic and have a real desire to get on with building further export sales.”

Mike Stokes, ICEHOUSE Sale Manager agrees, “Both forging ahead in their fields, it’s a fantastic opportunity for Kat and Kathryn, they’ll learn a lot.”

Kat Gee is the hugely talented designer and founder of Kagi jewellery. Kagi has just celebrated its 5 year anniversary and over 70 stockists nationwide is fast becoming a household name in NZ designer jewellery. Kat realised her dream for jewellery design with a difference in 2006 and began producing affordable designer pieces from quality materials. Previously a New Zealand Design ambassador, Kat has ensured Kagi is stocked in top destination stores right across Australasia, delivering stunning products that allow women to create their own unique look. Kat says “It's a huge honour to win this scholarship and I am excited about the Programme and what impact it will have on my business. Its great to win with Kathryn as together as we represent the next wave of designers/business owners who are making our dreams a reality.”

New Zealand’s premiere footwear designer Kathryn Wilson has been growing from strength to strength since debuting in 2003 and has been involved with top NZ brands such as Juliette Logan and Huffer. Kathryn’s footwear design is favoured amoungst Kiwi celebrities, it’s innovative and stylish, and she is a regular feature in top NZ fashion & lifestyle media. Through using top Italian and Chinese manufacturers, Kathryn has accomplished her place in the industry by offering affordable and versatile footwear. See her exciting diffusion line ‘Miss Wilson’ launched in February of this year in high-end, multiple-door fashion stores across New Zealand, bringing her beautiful designs at modest consumer prices.

Kathryn will be joining the October intake of the OMP, while Kat is already underway, having enlisted in July. It will be very exciting to see how positively this programme affects the future of both designer’s businesses in the near future and longer term.


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