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Up-and-coming fashion label wins export award

New Zealand’s hottest up-and-coming fashion label wins export award

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Modelling Stolen Girlfriend's Club


Auckland, 4th December 2008 – Fashionistas of the nation trembled with anticipation as New Zealand’s hottest up-and-coming fashion exporter was announced at a glittering fashion awards show this evening.

DHL, the world's leading express and logistics company, proudly declared Stolen Girlfriends Club as grand winner of the inaugural DHL Fashion Export Scholarship 2008, confirming the designers’ place as New Zealand’s top emerging fashion exporter.

Runners up Salasai and Jimmy D were also presented with awards and showed at the star studded event, which concluded with the annual Fashion Industry New Zealand (FINZ) Christmas Party.

DHL Express New Zealand, Fashion and Textile Strategic Account Manager, Jason Orlop, who was one of the judges says, “Stolen Girlfriends Club showed great diversity in their designs with the ability to cater for wide variety of ages and tastes. This will contribute to them becoming great ambassadors for our fashion industry when exporting to international markets.

“At DHL we are proud to support these 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 annual FINZ membership.”

The scholarship was judged by leading talent from New Zealand’s fashion and exporting industries: fashion designer, Trelise Cooper; founder of 42 Below, Geoff Ross; fashion editor Zoe Walker; FINZ executive officer, Mapihi Opai; and DHL Express New Zealand, Fashion and Textile Strategic Account Manager, Jason Orlop.

Ms. Opai was thrilled with the high quality of entries and is confident about the future of New Zealand’s fashion industry in seeing so many talented designers taking their designs to international markets. She says, “In judging we were extremely impressed by the calibre of our applicants and everything that they've achieved.

“Stolen Girlfriends Club was the unanimous choice as the recipient of this scholarship. Their achievements to date, coupled with a sophisticated export and media strategy, show a brand being driven by a dedicated and ambitious team who know exactly what they want to achieve, and have the nous to make it happen.

“Kirsha Witcher from Salasai shows a real flair for design that's edgy and exciting and James from Jimmy D stood out as a wonderful design talent. We look forward to seeing these finalists go far.”

The judges considered a number of factors, including the designers’ performance to date and their vision in terms of future international growth. They also looked for evidence of a sustainable competitive advantage in their design, solid export and marketing strategies, and sufficient capital to support expansion into offshore markets.

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.



Additional commentary from Geoff Ross:
“What impressed about Stolen Girlfriends Club was their strength in all areas. As well as a strong design, they had good financials, good success off shore already and a team of three, which adds horse power to their business.

“While Salasai and Jimmy D have smaller teams, their designs have a very unique edge.”

Additional commentary from Trelise Cooper:
“We voted the three finalists based on their ability to sustain and expand export growth. We considered their total revenue in sales both in New Zealand and export dollars, and their ability to fund more export sales. We overviewed their existing export accounts and the potential to prospect new accounts in territories existing and unexplored.

“On design we looked for creative and individual design handwriting, a definite point of difference that showed it was unique, commercially relevant and would appeal to an International Buyer. We viewed look books and PR material and considered all the PR and editorial achieved to this point.

“Stolen Girlfriend’s Club’s collection was strong and cohesive. A uniqueness in design. Their target market was well defined. They have an existing business structure that allows for growth. They had sustained consistent growth from season to season.”

About the DHL Fashion Export Scholarship

The scholarship aims to identify New Zealand's up-and-coming fashion exporter and assist them in achieving international growth. Entrants were asked to complete an official application and submit a design portfolio, which was judged by fashion and exporting industry leaders Trelise Cooper, Geoff Ross, Zoe Walker, Mapihi Opai and Jason Orlop.

The recipient of the scholarship receives a prize package that includes international 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 annual FINZ membership.

The DHL Express Fashion Export Scholarship was open to New Zealand fashion designers, who have been exporting for less than four years. Entries were judged across a variety of categories, including design, marketing, business and export.

About DHL Express New Zealand:
DHL New Zealand employs over 350 staff at nine locations. DHL’s New Zealand operation is committed to customer value, service excellence and shipment visibility. In 2008, DHL Express was awarded the Contact Centre Award for the Courier Services Sector. In 2006, DHL Express was awarded the Contact Centre Trainer of the Year award by the Telecommunications Users Association of New Zealand (TUANZ). In 2005, DHL Express was again the General Services Sector winner of the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Contact Centre Awards (for the third consecutive year).

DHL has a strategic joint venture with New Zealand Post, Express Couriers Ltd. This venture compliment’s DHL’s international offering, through the provision of domestic courier and logistics services via CourierPost, Pace, Roadstar and Contract Logistics.

DHL is also a corporate sponsor of Surf Life Saving New Zealand, supporter of Fashion Industry New Zealand and proud supporter of Kidz First Children’s Hospital.


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