The Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival (VAMFF) has announced the Australian designers who have been selected as finalists for the National Designer Award presented by David Jones.
The award acknowledges designers in their first five years of business that excel in design, manufacturing standards, business practices and innovation.
One designer will also receive an Honourable Mention of Sustainability and the opportunity to complete a mentorship with the sustainability team at David Jones.
The finalists are Arnsdorf, Blair Archibald, Chris Ran Lin, Christian Kimber, Double Rainbouu and Mndatory.
The panel of judges include VAMFF 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, men's footwear, accessories and childrenswear Chris Wilson.
David Jones acting head of sustainability Lucy King will award the Honourable Mention for Sustainability.
One of the finalists will be awarded the 2019 National Designer Award and a business development prize pack valued at over $100,000 at an industry event held at David Jones Bourke St, Melbourne on March 1.
The winner will also feature at the gala runway presented by David Jones on Monday March 4, 2019.
Lewsey said the festival was pleased to see a rise in menswear designers and is happy to support local talent.
“The festival supports the Australian fashion industry in many ways but none more than the National Designer Award which has been instrumental in defining the careers of some of Australia's top designers.
“We're pleased to see a strong contingent of both Victorian as well as menswear designers represented, demonstrating the strength of local talent.”
Oakley echoed this support, saying that David Jones is happy to continue supporting the award and industry.
“David Jones is thrilled to be presenting partner of the National Designer Award for a third consecutive year.
“At 180 years old, we're proud to support initiatives that contribute to the growth and development of the Australian fashion industry and this award provides a platform to discover and nurture future design talent.”
Past winners of the award include P.E Nation, Macgraw, Toni Maticevski, Yeojin Bae, Strateas.Carlucci, Dion Lee, Song For The Mute and Romance Was Born.
VAMFF will span over 10 days from March 1 to 10.