On March 1st, The Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival (VAMFF), announced Christian Kimber as the winner of the prestigious National Designer Award presented by David Jones, with the inaugural Honourable Mention for Sustainability awarded to Arnsdorf.
The National Designer Award, now in its 23rd year is Australia’s most esteemed fashion award. It celebrates and supports the future of Australian fashion by acknowledging designers in their first five years of business who excel in creative design, fashion innovation, manufacturing standards, business practices and innovation.
To win the National Designer Award marks a turning point in a designer’s career; past winners include P.E Nation (2018), Macgraw, Toni Maticevski, Yeojin Bae, STRATEAS.CARLUCCI, Dion Lee, Song For The Mute and Romance Was Born to name a few.
The six outstanding finalists for the award included Arnsdorf, BLAIRARCHIBALD, Chris Ran Lin, Christian Kimber, Double Rainbouu and MNDATORY.
The Festival and its partners continue to amplify their dedication to sustainability and, in a new initiative for 2019, has awarded Arnsdorf with an Honourable Mention of Sustainability and the opportunity to complete a mentorship with the Sustainability team at David Jones.
Lucy King, Head of Sustainibility, David Jones said “Through Arnsdorf’s local and vertical production process, high ethical standards, and use of responsibly sourced materials, Jade is taking a leadership role and setting new standards for incorporating sustainability into fashion and business.”
The judging panel was made up of Australian industry leaders and icons including Festival CEO Graeme Lewsey, Vogue Australia Editor-in-Chief Edwina McCann, Harper’s BAZAAR Australia Editor-in-Chief Eugenie Kelly, Designer Bianca Spender, David Jones Buying Manager – Womenswear Teneille Oakley and David Jones General Manager – Menswear, Mens Footwear, Accessories & Childrenswear Chris Wilson. David Jones Acting Head of Sustainability Lucy King awarded the Honourable Mention for Sustainability.
Graeme Lewsey, Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival CEO said “The quantity of applicants this year was truly remarkable. Five out of our six finalists this year were menswear designers, which demonstrates the strength of our local talent and the growth of menswear as a category.”
“Christian Kimber’s slow fashion approach to design, which enables him to create attainable luxury clothing, embraces modern Australian dressing. His potential to contribute to the growth of the Australian fashion industry both locally and internationally is unique and I am personally excited to see him excel further,” Lewsey concluded.
Chris Wilson, David Jones General Manager – Menswear, Mens Footwear, Accessories & Childrenswear said “Men are becoming more fashion conscious and experimenting with expressing their personal style so there is a constant demand for new and unique brands. Christian Kimber has established a foundation of high-quality, easy-to-wear, enduring pieces complemented by bolder statement pieces – the perfect mix for the modern gentleman’s wardrobe. We are committed to supporting the next generation of design talent and the National Designer Award is an initiative that has a great impact on a designers future.”
Christian Kimber received a high value business development prize pack including a cash payment of $10,000, inclusion in the Gala Runway presented by David Jones, a bespoke keepsake trophy created by Georg Jensen, return international flights with Virgin Australia, business and financial advisory services and more.