A final year student enrolled in the Diploma in Fashion Technology and Design at Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology, Currie’s winning collection is titled, ‘Wonder Axis’.
“It was Georgia Currie by a country mile, for me,” stated competition judge Karen Inderbitzen-Waller.
“All the finalists produced very cohesive collections, but Georgia's seemed so new, so fashion-forward and fresh,” said fellow judge Boh Runga. “Her use of colour was particularly exciting.”
As winner of the Westpac Young Fashion Designer Competition, Currie will receive a Westpac bank account with NZ$5000, plus dedicated business banking advice.
The career-changing prize also includes a year-long professional mentorship from successful businesswoman-turned-designer, Angela Lewis.
The process to find New Zealand’s most promising young fashion designer began back in June, when a fashionable field of 58 competing designers began to enter their three-look mini-collections for the Westpac Young Fashion Designer Competition.
In August, an expert judging panel – photographer and stylist Karen Inderbitzen-Waller, musician and designer Boh Runga, and Zambesi menswear designer Dayne Johnston – convened to narrow this field of entrants down to a Top 10.
Next, the judges’ selection was uploaded to the Westpac Young Fashion Designer Competition’s official Facebook page, where the Top 10 mini-collections were subject to the court of public opinion via a twelve-day online voting process.
The ten young designers campaigned hard for their collections. When the voting closed, almost 11,000 votes had been cast and the Top 3 finalists could be revealed as: Georgia Currie (Christchurch), Trish Peng and Qiulae Wong (Auckland) and Miriam White (Wellington).
By advancing to the final stage of the competition, the Top 3 won an opportunity to present their designs on the country’s highest profile catwalk. Currie and White were flown to Auckland, joining Peng and Wong ahead of their nail-biting New Zealand Fashion Week debut.
At last night’s Westpac RED COLLECTION show, the judging panel reconvened to make the final cut. And, after a dramatic runway walk-off in front of a live audience of business leaders and fashion industry heavyweights, an elated Georgia Currie was announced as the winner.
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.
Imagery – Oliver Rose