Uncertainty around international travel coupled with applicants from 17 countries has prompted organisers of the iD International Emerging Designer Awards 2020 to move the show online.

“This year the iD International Emerging Designer Awards, supported by Otago Polytechnic will become a virtual awards event,” said Dr. Margo Barton, iD Board Co-chair and iD Dunedin Fashion Creative Director, in a press release. “Our judging panel will assess garments from designer statements, drawings, photos and video. Then we’ll work with the incredible talent at Dunedin’s NHNZ to create a digital production showcasing the talent of these young designers from throughout the world in a sustainable manner.

“The NHNZ-produced iD International Emerging Designer Awards video will be unveiled with a premiere at Otago Museum as a part of its ‘Fashion Forward >> Disruption Through Design’ exhibition in early May. The finalists’ video will run continuously at the Otago Museum throughout May. Then the winners will be announced as planned at an event in Dunedin on Friday 5 June.”

The iD International Emerging Designer Awards presented by Otago Polytechnic is Australasia’s only international young designer competition.

Since being established in 2004 the competition attracts hundreds of entries from young fashion designers around the globe each year. For the past 15 years finalists have travelled to Dunedin from around the world for a whirlwind week of fashion experiences.

However, this year uncertainty over international travel has worried applicants and caused uncertainty for organisers.

“As you can imagine the Board of iD Dunedin has been working together to anticipate how the global outbreak of Covid-19/Coronavirus might impact finalists travelling to Dunedin,” said Sally Peart, iD Dunedin Fashion Inc. co-chair. “By reimagining the 2020 iD International Emerging Designer Awards we have removed the element of uncertainty around international travel and are able to commit to celebrating the creativity of these recent fashion graduates starting their career.”

Applicants for this year’s Awards have been asked to confirm their intent to be part of the new process. Then applications will be assessed by a team of leading New Zealand designers; Tanya Carlson, Wynn Crawshaw of Wynn Hamlyn and Donna Tulloch of Mild Red as well as Bauer Media sustainability journalist and former iD International Emerging Designer Awards finalist, Fiona Ralph. Finalists will be announced the week commencing Monday 23 March.

Finalists will be asked to supply a two-minute video – which can be shot on a mobile phone – answering questions about their design philosophy. Using the video, and photos and sketches of their designs a panel will decide winners with the announcement made in Dunedin on Friday 5 June. Details of an event will be announced shortly and finalists able to travel to Dunedin are invited to attend.

Following the iD International Emerging Designer Awards winners announcement, Otago Polytechnic will host a Fashion Symposium Exhibition on Saturday 6 June 2020 in Dunedin.

Stay tuned to The Last Fashion Bible for all of the updates on iD Dunedin Fashion Week.



The Last Fashion Bible is an interactive hub of fashion and lifestyle-related video content, featuring a mix of both international and local runway shows, editorials, interviews, how-tos and much more.

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