Entries are Now Open!

Entries have officially opened for the 2020 Westpac Private Emerging Fashion Designer Award. The prestigious award, formerly known as the BT Emerging Fashion Designer Award, aims to identify and showcase Australia’s most promising emerging fashion designers and provide financial support, advice and mentoring. 

IMAGE | By Lucas Dawson. Collection from the 2019 winner Blair Archibald.

IMAGE | By Lucas Dawson. Collection from the 2019 winner Blair Archibald.

The 2020 total prize value has grown to $120,000, which will afford the winning designer the opportunity to push their emerging label to the next level. Previously just open to womenswear and unisex designers, the award has now opened entries up to menswear designers for 2020. The award criteria focuses on applicants' business acumen, design capabilities, and sustainable and ethical practices.

The initiative was first established in 2013 (under the BT brand) 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; Blair Archibald (2019), Albus Lumen (2018), Kacey Devlin (2017), macgraw (2016), Emma Mulholland (2015), Michael Lo Sordo (2014) and Christopher Esber (2013).

Now in its eighth year, we are delighted to be expanding our support of emerging Australian designers to include menswear, as well as continue the award’s sustainability considerations. This not only reflects our culture of inclusion and diversity, it aligns with Westpac Group’s recognition as Australia’s most sustainable bank, ranked by the global 2019 Dow Jones Sustainability Index. We look forward to showcasing some of Australia’s talented designers seeking to build and grow their businesses.
— Cathy Yuncken, General Manager, Private Wealth, Westpac Group.



An expert panel of industry judges will select three finalists, to be announced in February 2020. The panel includes;

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

  • Marc Freeman, Director of CAMILLA AND MARC

  • Caterina Scardino, Fashion Stylist 

  • Melinda Tually, Responsible Sourcing Strategist - Fashion & Retail for Ndless: The New Normal

  • Rebecca Lim, Group Executive, Legal & Secretariat, Westpac Group

The three finalists will go on to present their collections at the Private Runway event on Wednesday 8 April 2020, alongside some of Australia’s top established designers.

IMAGE | By Lucas Dawson. Collection from 2019 finalist A.BCH.

IMAGE | By Lucas Dawson. Collection from 2019 finalist A.BCH.



  • A $10,000 (including GST) cash grant provided by Westpac Private Bank

  • 12 months free insurance provided by Westpac. The winner may select either business, home or motor insurance

  • Financial planning services provided by Viridian Advisory for two years. Available from 1 July 2020

  • Business advisory, strategy, accounting and wealth 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

  • 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 Hairdressing products

  • Linda Jefferyes makeup and makeup artists provided for the Vogue Australia look book

  • Emirates return Business Class flights for two to any one of Emirates’ 41 destinations on their Europe network including the fashion capitals of London, Paris and Milan

  • 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 your collection at the Private Runway event

  • Media coverage of your brand during the winner announcement

  • A keepsake engraved trophy



The Awards are open to womenswear, menswear 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 Westpac Private Emerging Fashion Designer Award.


Entries for the award are open from now until Monday 9 December 2019.

Application forms and further conditions of entry are available via the link below.

IMAGE | By Lucas Dawson. Collection from 2019 finalist Aaizel.

IMAGE | By Lucas Dawson. Collection from 2019 finalist Aaizel.