Congrats to Sydney designer Dion Lee who won the fashion category of the 2010 Qantas Spirit of Youth Awards last night in Sydney. And congrats are also due to 10 other Australians who frockwriter can reveal are the 2010 Australians in New York Fashion Foundation finalists: Mitchell Oakley Smith, Laura Wade, Bronwyn O’Brien, Katherine Watson, Jacqueline Tyrrell, Natalia Catherine Muller, Ned Rogers, Darren McDonald, Saskia Wilson and Alice McConnell. The winner, to be announced at a function in Sydney on December 20th, will receive financial support to live in New York for one year, in addition to introductions to the cream of the New York fashion business from the AINYFF founders, Australians who have worked their way to the top there (without work experience or mentorship programs, it’s worth noting). UPDATE 21/12/10: Congratulations are due to Laura Wade, who has been awarded the AINYFF's 2011 grant, with Mitchell Oakley-Smith named runnerup.
The latter include Malcolm Carfrae, Executive Vice President of Global Communications at Calvin Klein Inc, Laura Brown, the features/special projects director at Harpers Bazaar US and Colac Pictures president Julie Anne Quay, the former studio manager for Steven Meisel and executive editor of V Magazine.
The initiative was launched in 2009 to assist young Australians gain footholds in the most competitive fashion media market in the world. The inaugural inductee, Melbourne fashion designer Georgia Lazzarro (pictured above, with Calvin Klein Collection womenswear director Francisco Costa in New York and below, at the L'Oréal Melbourne Fashion Festival in March this year) is currently completing an internship at the Calvin Klein headquarters, following a stint at Narciso Rodriguez.
But just getting to the AINYFF finalist stage can apparently be a career booster. Frockwriter has heard stories of foundation members also making industry introductions for finalists.