Entries open for $10,000+ fashion export scholarship

New Zealand’s only Fashion Export Scholarship is calling for entries from today (Monday 1  October) from local designers who have been exporting for less than four years. The DHL Express Fashion Export Scholarship is designed to identify the country’s hottest up-and-coming fashion exporter and assist them in achieving international growth.

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.

Last year’s winner NYNE flanked by models
L-R, Model, Miranda Scott-Simmonds, Jacob Scott Simmonds, Tina Patrick and model


2012’s winner will follow on the heels of Stolen Girlfriends Club, winners of the inaugural DHL Express Fashion Export Scholarship in 2008; Lonely Hearts (2009); twenty seven names (2010) and 2011‘s winner NYNE.

New this year, DHL Express is allowing online exporters to enter the scholarship. This means fashion exporters who may not have a traditional retail front, but who export online are eligible for the scholarship.  Megan Wildermoth, national strategic account manager (fashion and textiles) at DHL Express, says, “Online retailing has become a powerful channel to market, particularly for the fashion industry.

“For the last five years of the scholarship we’ve seen the proliferation of entrants who are embracing the online environment and we want the scholarship to reflect the changing shape of the fashion export industry,” she adds.

We Are Handsome

The DHL Express Fashion Export Scholarship was developed as a joint initiative between DHL and Fashion Industry New Zealand (FINZ) in 2008, with DHL launching the programme in Australia in 2010 and awarding the scholarship to Bec & Bridge and We are Handsome, respectively.

Locally, FINZ executive officer Paul Blomfield is at pains to emphasise the DHL Fashion Export Scholarship is open to the wider fashion and apparel industry.  “The term ‘fashion’ is very broad and this year we want to encompass the full breadth of the industry. This includes knitwear, outerwear, children’s wear, merino specialists and accessories,” he says.

Three finalists will be selected, and will receive individual export mentoring and an annual membership subscription from Fashion Industry New Zealand (FINZ).  Past finalists include Jimmy D, Salasai, Blak Luxe, and Lela Jacobs.

Jimmy D

For last year’s winner, Hamilton-based fashion brand NYNE, the DHL Express Fashion Export Scholarship has been tremendously valuable.   “We urge all those considering entering the awards to do so,” says Miranda Scott-Simmonds, co-founder and designer of NYNE.  Winning the award has really boosted our brand image and credibility nationally and internationally.  Not only that, the entry itself forces you to take a look at your business, its successes and weaknesses, an invaluable exercise,” she continues.

Entrants in the DHL Express Fashion Export Scholarship are required to complete an official application form and submit lookbooks from previous collections, by Monday 29 October.  Application forms are available from the FINZ website: www.finz.co.nz/DHLExportScholarship.

You can follow the DHL Fashion Export Scholarship in Social Media via FINZ:
twitter:  @finzNZ #DHLFashionExport
Facebook:  FINZ.co.nz.

Finalists will be announced on Thursday 8th November, and the scholarship will be awarded to a winner at an invitation-only function on
Tuesday 13th November.

– Julie Roulston

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