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Finalists Announced for Career-Changing Fashion Competition

Thursday 4 August, 2011


The Top 10 finalists have been uploaded to the Westpac Young Fashion Designer Competition’s official Facebook page – and the public can vote online for their favourite young designer, right now!

From today, and until midnight on Sunday 14 August, fashion lovers can cast one vote per day for their favourite designer by clicking through the ‘Contests’ tab on the Westpac Young Fashion Designer Competition official Facebook page:

More than 12,000 public votes were cast in last year’s inaugural competition before 20-year-old Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology student, Jess Britten, took home the grand prize.

"New Zealand continues to foster an amazing amount of creativity and flair that highlights the fashion design talent in our country,” says Westpac’s GM, Marketing & Customer Experience, Martine Jager, who was excited by the calibre and number of entries received this year. “It's great to see the passion from young graduates looking to kick-start their careers and pursue their dream of being a successful fashion designer. We're proud to be able to help make the dream a reality".

Without further ado, this year’s Top 10 finalists in the Westpac Young Fashion Designer Competition are:

Ruri Castillo, Auckland
A graduate of the Bachelor of Design (Fashion) at AUT University, Ruri’s colourful, Mexico and Harajuku influenced collection is titled, ‘Pretty in Skulls’.

Georgia Currie, Christchurch
A final year student enrolled in the Diploma in Fashion Technology and Design at Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology, Georgia’s desert-toned collection is titled, ‘Wonder Axis’.

Jessica Grubisa, Auckland
A final year student enrolled in the Bachelor of Fine Arts (Fashion Design) at Whitecliffe College of Arts & Design, Jessica’s early hip hop influenced collection is titled, ‘More Money, More Problems’

Laura Marshall, Nelson
A graduate of the Bachelor of Design (Fashion) at Otago Polytechnic, Laura’s androgynous menswear collection is titled, ‘While the City Sleeps’.

Trish Peng & Qiulae Wong, Auckland
A third year student enrolled in the Bachelor of Fine Arts (Fashion Design) at Whitecliffe College of Arts & Design, Trish recently formed a label partnership with Qiulae, who is in the final year of a BA/LLB at the University of Auckland. Their feminine, Utopia-inspired collection is titled, ‘Land of Omelas’.

Glen Prentice, Auckland
A final year student enrolled in the Bachelor of Design (Fashion) at AUT University, Glen’s dark, occult-referenced collection is titled, ‘Thou Wilt’

Lucie Sutichunta, Auckland/Timaru
A graduate of the Bachelor of Design (Fashion) at AUT University, Lucie’s colourful, Thai-inspired collection is titled, ‘Siamese Sweetheart’.

Helen Trethewey, Wellington
A graduate of the Bachelor of Design (Fashion) at Massey University, Helen’s deconstructed, ballet shoe inspired collection is titled, ‘Stitch of Grace’.

Miriam White, Wellington
A graduate of the Bachelor of Design (Fashion) at Massey University, Miriam’s preppy collection is titled, ‘The Prelude’.

Roxanna Zamani, Invercargill
A graduate of the Bachelor of Fine Arts (Textile) at Otago Polytechnic, Roxanna’s sculptural couture collection is titled, ‘Antithesis’

The Westpac Young Fashion Designer Competition is an innovative initiative, creating a launch pad for emerging fashion designers, as well as offering mentoring and assistance in building their business. The competition is open to students who are currently completing a New Zealand fashion based tertiary course, or have graduated from a New Zealand fashion based tertiary course within the last four years.

The three designers who amass the most public votes by Sunday 14 August will travel to Auckland to present their mini-collections in front of the judges during New Zealand Fashion Week. After a dramatic live runway walk-off at the Westpac RED COLLECTION show on Thursday 1 September, the winner will be announced.

This year’s expert judging panel is comprised of photographer and stylist Karen Inderbitzen-Waller, musician and designer Boh Runga, and Zambesi menswear designer Dayne Johnston.

“I was very impressed with the standard of entries this year. It was inspiring,” says Dayne Johnston. “The Top 10 stood out for their original ideas, and also for their presentation which demonstrated a clear visual understanding of each collection.”

“I think the Top 10 selection is diverse and the public will be polarized – which is always good in a competition!” says Boh Runga. “There's something for everyone's taste.”

The winner of the Westpac Young Fashion Designer Competition will receive a Westpac bank account with NZ$5000, plus dedicated business banking advice. This year’s prize also includes a year-long professional mentorship from successful businesswoman-turned-designer, Angela Lewis.

“Go with what you feel,” is Angela Lewis’ advice to the young finalists. “Over the years you’ll get the knocks, the breaks, the good and the bad – all that stuff that happens in any business life. But I’d say what’s most important is, while remembering all the things you’ve done, to go with your own creative flow.”

Key Competition Dates:
Wednesday 3 August, 2011 – Top 10 finalists announced on Facebook, public voting commences
Midnight, Sunday 14 August, 2011 – Public voting concludes
Tuesday 16 August, 2011 – Top 3 finalists announced
Thursday 1 September, 2011 – Westpac RED COLLECTION show, winner announced live!

Westpac Young Fashion Designer Competition 2011 Prize Package:
NZ$5000 in a Westpac business account
Mentoring from a Westpac RED COLLECTION designer for 1 year
Business banking advice from Westpac for 1 year

Westpac Young Fashion Designer Competition official Facebook page:


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