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Barnaby Marshal from I Love Ugly (second from right) surrounded by models after winning the DHL Express Fashion Export Scholarship 2012 last night in Auckland. Photo credit Sam Lee /small>
Press Release – DHL Fashion Export Scholarship
The designers of Auckland fashion label I Love Ugly have been awarded the $10,000 DHL Express Fashion Export Scholarship for 2012, establishing them as New Zealand’s top emerging fashion exporter.
Designed to identify the country’s hottest up-and-coming fashion exporter and assist them in achieving international growth, the scholarship paves the way for I Love Ugly to make a big impact on the global fashion scene.
Mo Kheir, marketing director from I Love Ugly says, “We are so happy to have won this award, words can’t express how thankful we are for the constant support and belief that people have in our brand. We hope to use this prize to push our international exports and get our name out there. Thank you for believing in our brand and to our followers for being an important part of our journey.”
The scholarship has been running for five years but new this year, DHL Express and Fashion Industry New Zealand (FINZ) also allowed online exporters to enter. This means fashion exporters who may not have a traditional retail front, but who export online were eligible for the scholarship.
Megan Wildermoth, national strategic account manager (fashion and textiles) DHL Express says, “For the last five years of the scholarship we’ve seen the proliferation of entrants who are embracing the online environment and we wanted to reflect this.
“I Love Ugly presented an overall compelling submission. They have a strong, strategic online presence that compliments their traditional retail offering, and with the fashion industry heading online, this approach will allow them to grow”.
Iconic fashion designer and scholarship judge Kate Sylvester says, “I Love Ugly has a great vision. They know exactly what they want and what they have to do to achieve it. It’s an aspirational brand that appeals to young consumers as well as the 35-40year olds. My teenage sons are big fans of theirs.”
Erica Crawford, prominent entrepreneur, exporter and judge says, “I’m impressed with their business model and strong use of online and social media. I Love Ugly’s design aesthetic is entirely suited to their business model and they won’t have to dramatically change it be successful in different markets.
“Their garments are well made, well presented and they have tremendous export potential”.
Fashion commentator Carolyn Enting says “I Love Ugly has an excellent brand that is very clever and they have a firm grip on social media. Their design aesthetic is very now, with an international look. And with their online and export goals they are targeting where the growth is and has international appeal.”
Paul Blomfield, Chairman of FINZ has a ringing endorsement of this year’s scholarship winners. “A company like I Love Ugly is exactly why we have the scholarship. They represent the future of the fashion industry and they’ve been very strategic in their export focus. Their export success to date has been achieved using online combined with a comprehensive interactive multi-media approach to the business which is refreshing.”
The 2012 finalists
The two other finalists for the 2012 DHL Express Fashion Export Scholarship were:
• Ingrid Starnes, designer Ingrid Starnes (Auckland)
• Kowtow, designer Gosia Piatek (Wellington)
About the scholarship
The winner of the scholarship will receive international freight to the value of NZ$10,000, as well as coaching in freight and logistics from DHL Express.
All three finalists will receive individual export mentoring and an annual membership subscription from Fashion Industry New Zealand (FINZ).
FINZ Chairman, Paul Blomfield, says, “It is very important for the industry that new fashion companies make that big step into export and are successful at it. This scholarship provides much needed assistance for talented New Zealand fashion exporters, but also lends a tremendous amount of credibility to help them win business offshore,”
Entrants were invited to complete an official application and submit a design portfolio, which was judged by fashion and exporting industry leaders.
The 2012 judges were:
• Kate Sylvester, one of New Zealand’s most iconic and enduring fashion brands.
• Erica Crawford, prominent New Zealand entrepreneur, exporter, co-founder of Kim Crawford Wines and investor in NZ Fashion companies.
• Carolyn Enting, Associate Editor at MiNDFOOD, fashion writer and commentator.
• Megan Wildermoth, national strategic account manager (fashion and textiles) at DHL Express New Zealand.
• Paul Blomfield, Chairman of Fashion Industry New Zealand (FINZ).
Stolen Girlfriends Club won the inaugural scholarship in 2008, Lonely Hearts was awarded the scholarship in 2009, Twenty Seven Names won in 2010 and Hamilton based NYNE won the award in 2011. The scholarship was launched in Australia for the first time in 2010.
The judges measured the three finalists on their ability to sustain and expand export growth. They considered their total revenue in sales both in New Zealand and export dollars, and their ability to fund more export sales. They overviewed their existing export accounts and the potential to gain new accounts in other markets.
They measured their design based on creative and individual design handwriting; a definite point of difference that showed it was unique, commercially relevant and would appeal to an international buyer. They viewed look books and PR material and considered all the PR and editorial achieved so far.
DHL – The Logistics company for the world
DHL is the global market leader in the logistics industry and “The Logistics company for the world”. DHL commits its expertise in international express, air and ocean freight, road and rail transportation, contract logistics and international mail services to its customers. A global network composed of more than 220 countries and territories and about 275,000 employees worldwide offers customers superior service quality and local knowledge to satisfy their supply chain requirements. DHL accepts its social responsibility by supporting climate protection, disaster management and education.
DHL is part of Deutsche Post DHL. The Group generated revenue of 53 billion euros in 2011.
Fashion Industry New Zealand (FINZ)
FINZ is the voice of New Zealand’s fashion and apparel industry. Established in 2002, the non-profit organisation was founded by the industry to provide professional representation and support for the industry. “Our mission is to ensure the future growth and development of the fashion and apparel industry. And, to see it valued for its economic, creative and cultural contribution to New Zealand.”