Six emerging designers from six countries have been recognised at the iD International Emerging Designer Awards 2021, in partnership with Otago Polytechnic.

Sara Kickmayer | Photo Courtesy of iD Fashion Week

Sara Kickmayer

The Otago Polytechnic First Place was awarded to Sara Kickmayer, Institut Français de la Mode, France. Sara’s collection ‘Real Utopia’ was inspired by modular transformable structures and shapes. Silhouettes like mountain structures use a combination of raw processed materials and regenerated materials that move organically around the body.

Min-Yan Tsai | Photo Courtesy of iD Fashion Week

Min-Yan Tsai

Second place sponsored by Anita Greene of Bayleys Metro went to Min-Yan Tsai, Shih Chien University, Taiwan. Min-Yan’s collection ‘天照花塚Flourish Tumulus’ silhouettes are drawn from samurai armour and military uniforms from World War II. The black and white colour palette plays on the idea of camouflage patterns and inspiration from chess pieces.

Mengzhe (Justin) Chi | Photo Courtesy of iD Fashion Week

Mengzhe (Justin) Chi

Wealth Protection Specialists Third Place was awarded to Mengzhe (Justin) Chi, Fashion Institute of Technology, USA. ‘Put on – Take Off’ explores the relationships between everyday fasteners, user actions and clothing structure in a playful way making wearing more interactive. The design simplified silhouettes and sewing. Each look has an assembly instruction book, allowing consumers to purchase pre-cut fabric and follow steps to make their own garment.

Lydia Paine | Photo Courtesy of iD Fashion Week

Lydia Paine

New Zealand’s Lydia Paine, a graduate of Massey University, was named Viva Best NZ Emerging Designer. Research for her ‘Mother & Mode’ collection uncovered her grandparent’s knitting, smocking and cobbling skills, inspiring her to create a collection with a deeper, sustainable bond. Mother & Mode is a poignant reflection upon family, family history and crafts passed down through generations. Its slow-fashion pieces speak of fragments of memories and handmade processes, as a counter to over-consumption.

Gisella Candi | Photo Courtesy of iD Fashion Week

Gisella Candi

Gisella Candi, University of Technology Sydney, Australia received the Bremworth Natural Luxury with Wool prize. The collection ‘Wide Angle Smile’ uses off-kilter prints and odd silhouettes to explore the feelings and experiences of growing up in a society that rewards convention and passivity, rather than originality, passion and individuality. All the fabric was developed and screen printed and all knits were made on a domestic knitting machine.

Olivia Rubens | Photo Courtesy of iD Fashion Week

Olivia Rubens

iD Dunedin Most Sustainable Collection was awarded to Olivia Rubens, London College of Fashion, Canada. Olivia undertook nearly 10 collaborations to create the ‘Duplicitous Lives’ collection, including; working with an Estonian accessories designer to make chainmail miniature corsets, sourcing mohair and fleece from a UK farmer and working with an Irish company to dye yarns and fabric. Fabrics were created with hand knitting, knitting on the Stoll machine and embroidering.

The iD International Emerging Designer Awards 2021 winners were announced at a sell-out show in Dunedin on Saturday 19 June. Eleven New Zealand finalists and five Australian finalists showed their garments on the runway before the premiere screening of 2021 iD International Emerging Designer Awards Film.

An international panel of jurors led by head judge Tanya Carlson, Design Director of Carlson (NZ) assessed this year’s 41 finalists.

The panel was; Amanda Linnell, Editor in Chief, Viva Magazine (NZ); Anna Ross, Director, Kester Black (NZ); Carla van Lunn, Fashion Educator & Designer (Australia); Charmaine Reveley, Design Director, Charmaine Reveley, (NZ); Dame Denise L’Estrange-Corbet, Design Director, WORLD, (NZ); Donna Tulloch, Design Director, Mild Red, (NZ); Doris de Pont, New Zealand Fashion Museum, (NZ); Jacinta FitzGerald, Head of Programmes, Mindful Fashion, (NZ); Jessie Wong, Design Director, Yu Mei, (NZ); Katie Dominy, Cofounder, Arts Thread; (England); Kiri Nathan, fashion designer and cultural ambassador, (NZ); Margarita Robertson, Design Director, NOM*d; (NZ); Michael Dye, Editor in Chief, Cellotape Magazine, (Italy); Patty Huntington, Australian correspondent WWD, fashion commentator ABC, (Australia); Sara Maino, Senior Editor, Vogue Italia, (Italy) Sara Munro, Design Director, Company of Strangers; (NZ) and Tara Viggo, Design Director, Paper Theory (England).

Head judge Tanya Carlson said it was interesting that despite the challenges this year’s finalists had faced over the past 18 months, there was an overwhelming feeling of optimism in all the entries. “It’s encouraging to see that the future of fashion is in good hands, there is an overarching move toward an intimate process of creativity and hand-making, with a number of students incorporating hand knitting in their collections. All emerging designers engaged in sustainable practice and all share a desire to create fashion which leaves a lighter footprint.”

Professor of Fashion, Otago Polytechnic and iD Dunedin Fashion Inc. Chair Dr Margo Barton, expressed her gratitude to supporters and volunteers who made the Awards and iD Fashion Weekend possible. “The iD Board thanks the global jury for sharing their time and experience as well as the hundreds of volunteer hours required to bring the show to the stage and celebrate the world’s emerging designers.”

Congratulations to all the winners and finalists of the iD International Emerging Designer Awards 2021!

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