Australia's best designers (and one from New Zealand) will take to a 300-metre runway for the inaugural A-Z Files Fashion Awards on Thursday.
See Australia’s best emerging designers at A-Z Files Fashion Awards
Stacey Hendrickson is an influential figure in South Australian fashion.
At 18 she started Casper+Pearl, a clothing brand that would go on to sell internationally through avenues like The Iconic, Nasty Gal, Revolve, and Urban Outfitters; in 2014 she founded one of Adelaide’s leading model agencies, Azalea Models; and in late 2017, having left Casper+Pearl following alleged bullying and sexual harassment, debuted A-Z Files – a globally focussed fashion news website.
Now in its second year, A-Z Files has launched its inaugural Fashion Awards, which Stacey hopes will help emerging Australian designers bridge the gap between starting and establishing their fledgling businesses.
“A-Z Files Fashion Awards is something I’ve wanted to do for a while, because I do have these contacts and things to give, [and] I want to help young designers,” Stacey says.
“There’s so many out there at the moment that have done courses at TAFE and that kind of thing, which has been great for them and now they have all the practical skills, but they might not know how to take all of those skills further.”
Nine emerging designers have been selected – four from Adelaide, four from interstate, and one from New Zealand – and each will be judged by a panel of local industry heads.
“We have three judges – Chris Kontos, who is the creative director of Adelaide Fashion Festival; Anna Vlach, who is the fashion editor of the Sunday Mail; and Cimon Vozzo, who’s a stylist here in Adelaide and she does all of the Burnside shows, and she styles Myer and David Jones,” Stacey says.
“They’ll be judging on a few different criteria, like saleability; creativity, have they not seen that kind of thing before; construction, they’ll be taking a closer look at the garments and making sure that they’re made well.”
The winner of A-Z Files Fashion Awards will take home $1000 cash and a 12-month mentorship with Stacey, but equally invaluable will be the exposure the event will garner for the young designers.
“We’ll be including their contact details in the program… there’ll be buyers coming to the show… there’ll be media and lots of stylists, so hopefully they’ll get some opportunities through that,” Stacey says.
Among the designers will be Melbourne’s Benjamin Garg, who has recently appeared at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Australia and Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival.
“He’s originally from India and all of his processes are so amazing, and they’re very traditional Indian techniques,” Stacey says.
“They’re all amazing, talented, [and] I’d say a line up of the best emerging designers in Australia.”