Westpac helps Kiwi Fashion Students onto the Runway

For the third consecutive year, Westpac will be shining a spotlight on the very best of student fashion in the build up to New Zealand Fashion Week.

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.


Last year’s Georgia Currie’s winning designs

At stake is a career-enhancing prize package that includes NZ$5000, a personalised package of mentorship from an established New Zealand designer, plus dedicated Westpac business banking advice. In addition, three young designers will earn the opportunity to show their own collections at New Zealand Fashion Week on the nation’s most high profile catwalk.

The annual Westpac Young Fashion Designer Competition was initiated in 2010 to mark the fifth Westpac RED COLLECTION show at New Zealand Fashion Week. The response from hopeful young designers over the last two years has been extraordinary, with more than 150 original mini-collections entered from all around the country.

Last year, 21-year-old Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology student, Georgia Currie, came out on top after two rounds of judging and almost 11,000 public votes.

“It was inspiring to be a competition with such massively creative people,” says Currie. “I was in awe of several competitors’ designs. I guess that’s the great thing about the Westpac Young Fashion Designer Competition. You really get to see what exists outside of your own world and it really pushes you to think outside the box.”
Since her big win, Currie has graduated with a Diploma in Fashion Technology and Design, moved to Auckland and started her own womenswear label, GEORGIA ALICE.
“Westpac has been so vital in this decision, and I feel extremely lucky to have had so much support,” she says. “The competition process helped me to realise how much I wanted it.”

The Westpac Young Fashion Designer Competition is New Zealand’s premier launch pad for emerging and high potential fashion designers. 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.

Aspiring designers have until 5pm on Wednesday 1 August to enter a portfolio of three looks, along with a brief biography, plus a paragraph on how they would put the practical prize package to work for their future.

A panel of established fashion industry experts will select the ten most outstanding entries as semi-finalists. The top ten mini-collections will then be uploaded to the Westpac Young Fashion Designer Competition official Facebook page, where the public will be encouraged to vote online for their favourite young designer.

Westpac is looking for a winner with passion, vision and a strong aesthetic sense – a designer who is capable of creating inspiring and original clothes that have impact on the runway, without forsaking wearability.

The three young designers who amass the most public votes by Sunday 19 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 Friday 7 September, the Westpac Young Fashion Designer Competition winner for 2012 will be announced.


Key Competition Dates:
Wednesday 4 July, 2012 – Entries open
5pm, Wednesday 1 August, 2012 – Entries deadline
Wednesday 8 August, 2012 – Top 10 semi-finalists announced on Facebook, public voting commences
Midnight, Sunday 19 August, 2012 – Public voting concludes
Wednesday 22 August, 2012 – Top 3 finalists announced
Friday 7 September, 2012 – Westpac RED COLLECTION show, winner announced live!

Westpac Young Fashion Designer Competition 2012 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

Entries can be submitted via the Westpac Young Fashion Designer Competition official Facebook page: