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Applications for the BT Emerging Fashion Designer Award 2017 are now open to Australia’s up and coming designer talent, with the winning prize valued at over $50,000.

2017 marks the fifth year for one of Australia’s most prestigious emerging designer awards, with next year’s winner joining the ranks of the award’s previous winners Beth and Tess Macgraw (2016), Emma Mulholland (2015), Michael Lo Sordo (2014) and Christopher Esber (2013).

The Award provides the winning designer with $10,000 cash from BT; two years’ financial planning services provided by BT Financial Group; Accounting and business advisory services for one year provided by Bentleys NSW; two return premium economy class flights to New York provided by Qantas Airways; TONI&GUY Australia will proudly sponsor the winner’s hairdressing needs including: access to their National Artistic Team for two major fashion events, two look book or editorial shoots and three months worth of hairdressing at TONI&GUY Head Office; Australian Fashion Chamber membership and two mentoring sessions with a fashion industry icon provided by the AFC.

The 2016 BT Emerging Fashion Designer Award winner Beth Macgraw said, “Our business has gone from strength to strength this year with a lot of exciting projects and opportunities. The BT award has really helped further develop our business and build recognition in the industry.”

BT Financial Group’s General Manager, Private Wealth, Jane Watts noted, “BT is proud to support the next generation of Australian designers via our award. Its focus on mentoring, as well as the provision of financial planning and accounting support, is aimed at realising the winner’s personal and business potential.”

BT has been helping Australians establish and grow their businesses since 1969 and has supported its fashion designer clients by helping them become better investors, showing them how to grow and protect their wealth to secure their future.

BT is delighted to continue its partnership with the Australian Fashion Chamber as an organisation that promotes the growth of Australian design talent and the strengthening of the Australian fashion economy on a local and global scale.

AFC General Manager, Courtney Miller said, “We know how important it is for designers to understand the financial side of their business and the BT Emerging Fashion Designer Award is the perfect example of this opportunity.”

The judges for this year’s award include a host of industry experts including:

  • Edwina McCann, Vogue Australia Editor-in-Chief and Australian Fashion Chamber Chairwoman
  • Rebecca Lim, Chief Compliance Officer & Group General Counsel, Westpac
  • Leanne Whitehouse, Founder, Whitehouse Institute of Design, Australia and AFC Board Member
  • Lee Mathews, Founder & Designer, Lee Mathews

Applications for the award are now open until 31 January 2017. Entry is open to Australian fashion designers established less than seven years, with an annual turnover of under $2 million.

Finalists will be announced in March 2017 and will present their collections at a black tie gala dinner on 27 April 2017.