Wellington Student Wins Big at NZ Fashion Week



Wellington fashion student, Jack Hill, has banked this year’s big award at New Zealand Fashion Week. At last night’s Westpac RED COLLECTION show, the young men’s wear designer was announced as the winner of the annual Westpac Young Fashion Designer Competition.
A third year student enrolled in the Bachelor of Design (Fashion) at Massey University, Hill’s 90s-influenced men’s street wear collection, Young Heavy, included super-chunky knits and local imagery adapted into iconographic prints (full designer bio and collection notes are attached).
“We chose Jack’s collection as the winner because it demonstrates innovation, originality and a very clever use of texture,” said competition judge and Zambesi men’s wear designer, Dayne Johnston.
Johnston was joined on this year’s judging panel by the editor of the New Zealand Herald’s Viva magazine, Amanda Linnell; the editor of Remix magazine, Tina Moore; and futuristic electro-pop diva, Zowie.
“The winning entry appealed to me for its balance and the cohesion between the three outfits,” said Johnston. “I also loved the colour palette and the strong silhouette.”
As the winner of the Westpac Young Fashion Designer Competition, Hill receives a Westpac bank account with NZ$5000, plus dedicated business banking advice. The career-changing prize also includes a mentorship at Zambesi with men’s wear designer, Dayne Johnston, overseen by head designer and founder of the iconic New Zealand fashion house, Liz Findlay.
The process to find New Zealand’s most promising young fashion designer started in July, when 56 young designers from across the country submitted their collections for entry into the annual Westpac Young Fashion Designer Competition.


In August, the judging panel convened for the first time to select a Top 10 from this year’s outstanding pool of entries. The judges’ selections were uploaded to the competition’s official Facebook page, where the diverse collections were put to public vote through a fortnight of fervent online campaigning.
All ten young designers campaigned hard for their collections, conducting media interviews and rallying community support. By the time voting closed, almost 10,000 votes had been cast and the Top 3 finalists were revealed as Kerry Wong, Jack Hill and design partners Stephanie Bellamy and Benjamin Markby.
Worthy of notice, all of this year’s finalists were recent graduates, or current students, of the highly regarded Fashion Design programme at Massey University in Wellington. Furthermore, for the first time, each of the Top 3 collections featured men’s wear.
“This year’s finalists were very stimulating and accomplished,” said Johnston. “For me, it was interesting to see such a high number of men’s wear entries. Congratulations to all who entered.”
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, media and fashion industry heavyweights, an overwhelmed Jack Hill was announced as the winner.
The Westpac Young Fashion Designer Competition never fails to surprise and delight on its journey to discover the future of kiwi fashion, today. New Zealand’s most prestigious award for emerging fashion designers is a fertile incubator for innovation, inspiration, originality and raw talent.
The competition is a launch pad for students who are currently completing a New Zealand fashion based tertiary course, or have graduated within the last four years. The winner receives a career-changing prize package that includes NZ$5000, a personalised package of mentorship from an established New Zealand designer, plus dedicated Westpac business banking advice.