BT Emerging Fashion Designer Awards 2019 | Entries Open


Entries have officially opened for the 2019 edition of the BT Emerging Fashion Designer Award.


The prestigious award aims to identify and showcase Australia’s most promising emerging fashion designers and provide support in the form of financial means, access to services and mentoring.

The initiative was first established in 2013 and has since become one of Australia’s most esteemed designer awards. It has fostered the success of a number of Australian designers, as they develop from emerging labels into household names, including; Albus Lumen (2018), Kacey Devlin (2017), macgraw (2016), Emma Mulholland (2015), Michael Lo Sordo (2014) and Christopher Esber (2013).

As an emerging designer within the Australian Fashion Industry sometimes it is difficult to make the right business decisions, having advice from experts within the field has provided perspective and a new understanding of growing my brand. I am extremely grateful for the guidance and support from BT Financial Group.
— Marina Afonina (Albus Lumen), winner of the 2018 award

For 2019, the prize value has grown to an incredible $100,000, which will afford the winning designer the opportunity to push their label to the next level. In addition, the award criteria now includes an essential focus on applicants’ sustainable and ethical practices within their business.

Entries for the award are open from now until October 30th 2018. An expert panel of industry judges will then select three finalists, to be announced on December 5th 2018. The three finalists will then go on to present their collections at the BT Runway event on 11th April 2019, alongside some of Australia’s top established designers.

We are so proud to be supporting Australia’s emerging talent for the seventh year and we hope to see more emerging designers putting their “hat in the ring” and applying for the 2019 award.
— Jane Watts, General Manager Private Wealth and Advice at BT Financial Group
Image | 2018 winner Albus Lumen by Carmen Hamilton

Image | 2018 winner Albus Lumen by Carmen Hamilton


The Judges

Edwina McCann, Editor-in-Chief of Vogue Australia, Vogue Living, GQ Australia and Australian Fashion Council Co-Chair (Head Judge)

Bianca Spender, Founder & Designer of Bianca Spender

Melissa Singer, Fashion Editor of The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age

Jaana Quaintance-James, Head of Sustainability and Ethical Sourcing for THE ICONIC

Rebecca Lim, Group Executive, Compliance, Legal & Secretariat for Westpac Group

Image | 2018 finalist Double Rainbouu by Carmen Hamilton

Image | 2018 finalist Double Rainbouu by Carmen Hamilton


The Prize

- A $10,000 cash grant and two years of financial planning services provided by BT Financial Group.

- Accounting and business advisory services for two years provided by Bentleys NSW.

- Legal advice provided by Gilbert + Tobin for two years.

- Vogue Australia to produce and style a designer look book.

- label.m Australia in conjunction with TONI&GUY Australia will provide;

Access to their National Artistic Team for two major fashion events

Two look books or editorial shoots

A year’s worth of hairdressing at TONI&GUY Australia HQ

A year’s worth of label.m hair styling products

- Linda Jefferyes makeup for the Vogue look book.

- Two business class return flights to London

- A one year subscription to Flaunter - a digital platform connecting brands & media.

- Two mentoring sessions with two fashion industry icons provided by the Australian Fashion Council.

- Photo production and video content of the designers collection at the BT Runway event.

- A keepsake engraved trophy.

Image | 2018 finalist Anna Quan by Carmen Hamilton

Image | 2018 finalist Anna Quan by Carmen Hamilton



The Awards are open to womenswear and unisex designers. Applicants must have produced a minimum of three seasonal collections, have traded in business for under seven years and have an annual sales turnover of less than $2 million.

Applications will be judged upon their design, styling and fit capabilities, business acumen and potential for commercial success, their demonstration of sustainable and ethical practices, their marketing and social media skills, and the entrant’s planned use of the prize of the BT Emerging Fashion Designer Award.

Application forms and further conditions of entry are available below.

Images | Backstage at BT Runway 2018 by Lucas Dawson

Images | Backstage at BT Runway 2018 by Lucas Dawson


About | BT Financial Group

BT Financial Group has been helping Australians prepare for the best since 1969. Today BT Financial Group helps thousands of customers find superannuation, investment and insurance solutions to suit their personal needs and goals. They’re also a specialist in financial advice. BT Financial Group is the wealth management arm of the Westpac Group.

The BT Emerging Fashion Designer Award has been an important initiative for BT Financial Group, providing a platform to support emerging talent to reach their full potential by investing in and mentoring the growth of Australian designers.

BT Financial Group are delighted to continue their partnership with the Australian Fashion Council, as an organisation that promotes the growth of Australian design talent and the strengthening of the Australian fashion economy on a local and global scale.


For more information and media requests


Bradley Waters

Project Manager

Australian Fashion Council



Lisa Parrett

Media Relations Manager

BT Financial Group