Fashion

Christian Kimber wins Australia’s National Designer Award


Australia has named British-born and raised menswear designer Christian
Kimber as the winner of its 2019 National Designer Award, at the Virgin
Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival (VAMFF).

The National Designer Award, now in its 23rd year is Australia’s most
esteemed fashion award and celebrates and supports the future of Australian
fashion by acknowledging designers in their first five years of business –
“who excel in creative design, fashion innovation, manufacturing standards,
business practices and innovation”.

Kimber, who moved to Melbourne with his Australian wife in 2011, was
educated in the UK at the Queen Mary University of London and the London
College of Fashion, and went onto intern at Savile Row tailor Norton and
Sons, before working at custom shoemaker Lodger Footwear.

He started with men’s footwear before launch menswear apparel, with the
goal of “redefining modern Australian menswear” the designer states on his
website, while committing to the philosophy of a “slow-lifestyle”, by only
working with independent, ethical and family-run manufacturers in Florence
and Sofia.

The VAMFF National Designer Award has helped launched the careers of
many Australian designers including Dion Lee, Toni Maticevski, Macgraw, and
Romance Was Born, who have all achieved success in Australia as well as
abroad, and Kimber, who has already been tapped by Lane Crawford in Hong
Kong is definitely a designer to watch.

VAMFF awards National Designer Award to Christian Kimber

As winner of the National Designer Award, Kimber receives 10,000
Australian dollars, business and financial mentoring, return international
flights with Virgin Australia, and a spot in a Melbourne Fashion Festival
catwalk show presented by the competition’s main sponsor David Jones.

Graeme Lewsey, Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival chief
executive, said in a statement: “The quantity of applicants this year was
truly remarkable. Five out of our six finalists this year were menswear
designers, which demonstrates the strength of our local talent and the
growth of menswear as a category.

“Christian Kimber’s slow fashion approach to design, which enables him
to create attainable luxury clothing, embraces modern Australian dressing.
His potential to contribute to the growth of the Australian fashion
industry both locally and internationally is unique and I am personally
excited to see him excel further.”

Chris Wilson, David Jones general manager for menswear, mens footwear,
accessories and childrenswear added: “Men are becoming more fashion
conscious and experimenting with expressing their personal style so there
is a constant demand for new and unique brands.

“Christian Kimber has established a foundation of high-quality,
easy-to-wear, enduring pieces complemented by bolder statement pieces – the
perfect mix for the modern gentleman’s wardrobe. We are committed to
supporting the next generation of design talent and the National Designer
Award is an initiative that has a great impact on a designers future.”

The other finalists were Double Rainbouu, Blair Archibald, Chris Ran
Lin, Mndatory and Arnsdorf.

Arnsdorf awarded Honourable Mention for Sustainability at VAMFF

Alongside the main National Designer Award, this year’s competition also
awarded the inaugural Honourable Mention for Sustainability to Arnsdorf,
the only womenswear label in the competition founded by Jade Sarita Arnott,
who wins a mentorship with the sustainability team at David Jones.

Commenting on Arnsdorf winning, Lucy King, head of sustainibility at
David Jones said: “Through Arnsdorf’s local and vertical production
process, high ethical standards, and use of responsibly sourced materials,
Jade is taking a leadership role and setting new standards for
incorporating sustainability into fashion and business.”

This year’s judging panel included many Australian industry leaders
including Vogue Australia editor-in-chief Edwina McCann, Harper’s Bazaar
Australia editor-in-chief Eugenie Kelly and David Jones head womenswear and
menswear buyers Teneille Oakley and Chris Wilson, and designer Bianca
Spender.

Image: via Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival website



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