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Switched-on pair finalists in fashion contest

STEPHANIE FAWCETT
Last updated 09:22 17/08/2012
Benjamin Markby and Stephanie Bellamy
Stephanie Fawcett

THE OBLIVIOUS: Benjamin Markby and Stephanie Bellamy have been named as finalists in the Westpac Young Fashion Designer Competition.

The Oblivious
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UP AND COMING: One of the looks The Oblivious has submitted to the Westpac Young Fashion Designer Competition.
The Oblivious
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FASHION FORWARD: The Oblivious has submitted to the Westpac Young Fashion Designer Competition.

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An up-and-coming fashion label has made Howick its home.

Benjamin Markby, 23, and Stephanie Bellamy, 22, started The Oblivious in February and they've been named as finalists in the Westpac Young Fashion Designer Competition.

"We're trying to start the label as a business so we thought we might as well enter the competition," Stephanie says.

For their first 17-piece collection the duo chose the two opposing ideas of "a beautiful war".

"We both have design degrees but Steph has more of a fashion background and I have more of a graphics background. We designed a bullet and a lipstick that look very similar for our branding to represent me and her, and guys and girls. It's an icon we want to use in our future collections and really make it a part of the brand," Benjamin says.

They launched their website and Facebook page to the public only two weeks ago and plan to open an online store in September after they find out if they've made the top three on August 22.

The top three in the competition are chosen by public vote and will be invited to show at New Zealand Fashion Week.

The winner will receive $5000, mentorship from an established New Zealand designer and Westpac business banking advice.

Benjamin and Stephanie have big plans for the label and both hope The Oblivious can make its mark.

"My personal dream is to see the brand do well nationwide, in Australia and globally if we can," Benjamin says.

Stephanie says she would just love it to be one of New Zealand's top labels.

Voting is open for the Westpac Young Fashion Designer Competition until midnight on August 19.

Fashionistas can click the Contests tab at facebook.com/westpacyoungdesigner to cast their daily vote for their preferred collection.

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- Eastern Courier

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