The designers behind Kiwi fashion label Nyne have been bestowed with the DHL Express Fashion Export Scholarship for 2011, after making an unsuccessful bid last year.
Jacob Scott-Simmonds, Miranda Scott-Simmonds and Tina Patrick are now set to make a splash abroad with a prize of international freight to the value of NZ$10,000, as well as coaching in freight and logistics from DHL Express, individual export mentoring and an annual membership subscription from Fashion Industry New Zealand (FINZ).
The scholarship, in its fourth year, was open to New Zealand fashion designers who have been selling offshore for less than four years. Applicants were asked to submit a design portfolio and key trading figures, as well as an export and marketing strategy for the next 12 months.
DHL's Megan Wildermoth said Nyne presented a clear strategy, and particularly impressive export growth.
Judge Erica Crawford, entrepreneur, exporter and co-founder of Kim Crawford Wines, said it was great to see Nyne return so strongly after last year.
"They’ve ticked all the boxes both creatively and commercially, and they have great distribution in New Zealand and Australia.
“It’s not easy to take the step into exporting, particularly in the current climate. Nyne has considered its approach carefully and are reaping the rewards. The overall strategy is focused, strong and the most exciting.”
NOM*D creative director and co-founder Margarita Robertson, another judge, said: “Nyne has got the formula right. The trio has achieved the balance between brand, price, appeal and customer loyalty. The garments are creative with a strong wearable element. They’ve developed a point of difference that translates well for the export market.”
Nyne has been exporting for little more than two years and is stocked in 30 international stores, which Mapihi Opai, executive officer at FINZ, said was "phenomenal growth" for such a young brand.
"Furthermore, this expansion is underpinned by a strong business foundation here at home, including a concept store in Hamilton, The White Room, and 30 domestic retail stockists.”
In a new addition to the scholarship this year, all three finalists will also be invited to join the New Zealand Trade & Enterprise (NZTE) Path to Market programme for apparel exporters, which aims to improve the rate and speed of market entry to Australia.
The other two finalists for the 2011 DHL Express Fashion Export Scholarship were Blak and Lela Jacobs.
Stolen Girlfriends Club won the inaugural scholarship in 2008, Lonely Hearts was awarded the scholarship in 2009 and Twenty Seven Names won in 2010.