Australian designer Christopher Esber has won the 2016 DHL Fashion Export Scholarship. While all finalists proved to be stiff competition, the eponymous label stood out against the other two contenders, Ephemera and Penny Sage, for its immaculate, graceful aesthetics as well as sound business and export strategy.
As part of the scholarship prize, Christopher Esber will receive AU$10,000 of international freight, the chance to attend New York Fashion Week in 2017 and exclusive mentorship from DHL Express and IMG to help transport his business to the global stage.
“I am beyond ecstatic to be named as the winner of the DHL Fashion Export Scholarship,” says Esber. “With this support, I look forward to further developing the overarching vision of my brand, plus capitalising on the additional visibility and growth on the international stage.
“Continuing our international expansion has been a key priority for Christopher Esber, the label, and the past 12 months have been the strongest yet for our export business. We’re seeing particularly strong interest from USA, China and Europe – and also Dubai, Hong Kong and Kuwait. I can’t wait to attend New York Fashion Week next year and further grow our international presence.”
The Christopher Esber label is characterised by intelligent and sophisticated designs. Since launching in 2010, Christopher Esber has been crossing milestones of success – from winning the National Designer Award in 2012 at L’Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival to building a number of celebrity fans and bloggers that include Yasmin Sewell, Fashion Director of style.com, Caroline Issa of TANK Magazine and Nicole Warne of Gary Pepper Girl.
Commenting on the scholarship prize, Jamila Dlala, National Group Sales Manager at DHL Express, said: “Christopher has shown great progress over the three years he has entered the DHL Fashion Export Scholarship. His win is very well deserved, and in judging the winner we recognised the label’s growth potential, domestic success and strength of designs. We are delighted to award this opportunity to a promising label and look forward to providing mentoring support in the future.
“Supporting the local fashion industry is a key focus for DHL Express. With the growth in online shopping and international connectedness, we are seeing an increasing number of Kiwi fashion brands develop an expanded presence and market on the world stage.”
The DHL Fashion Export Scholarship was open to designers on both sides of the Tasman.