SYDNEY — Sydney fashion label Esse Studios took home the 24th National Designer Award at the Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival.
Announced on Wednesday at the Melbourne flagship of David Jones on the first day of the festival, which runs until March 14, Esse Studios designer Charlotte Hicks will receive a prize package valued at 120,000 Australian dollars or $ 78,823 at current exchange. This includes 10,000 Australian dollars or $ 6,569 cash, business advisory services and the opportunity to develop a capsule collection with award partner David Jones.
A graduate of the University of Technology Sydney, Hicks launched her label in 2017 after spending five and a half years as a designer for Sass & Bide and previous roles at companies including Zimmermann. With a focus on denim, cotton and knitwear, Esse Studios specializes in “slow release” editions of small capsule collections.
The judging panel included Vogue and GQ Australia creative director Jillian Davison and Bridget Veals, Eloise Bishop and Chris Wilson, David Jones’ heads, respectively, of women’s wear and accessories, sustainability and men’s wear.
The inaugural Honorable Mention for Sustainability went to Sydney-based activewear line Nagnata.
Previous recipients of the National Designer Award — considered one of Australia’s leading emerging designer prizes — have included
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