I Love Ugly wins top fashion award

Last updated 20:00 13/11/2012
I Love Ugly
JOHN SELKIRK/Fairfax Media

PRIZE WINNERS: Business partners Valentin Ozich, left, and Barnaby Marshall, at their I Love Ugly shop in Mt Eden.

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Auckland designers I Love Ugly have won a $10,000 prize to help launch them internationally.

The brand was tonight awarded the DHL Fashion Export Scholarship, beating fellow Auckland finalist Ingrid Starnes and Wellington-based designer Gosia Piatek.

"We are so happy to have won this award, words can't express how thankful we are for the constant support and belief that people have in our brand. We hope to use this prize to push our international exports and get our name out there," the labels marketing director Mo Kheir said.

I Love Ugly won $10,000 of international freight, along with tailored Fashion Industry New Zealand export mentoring and membership.

The scholarship has been running for five years but this year was the first time online exporters could enter.

"For the last five years of the scholarship we've seen the proliferation of entrants who are embracing the online environment and we wanted to reflect this," Megan Wildermoth, national strategic account manager (fashion and textiles) at DHL Express said.

"I Love Ugly presented an overall compelling submission. They have a strong, strategic online presence that compliments their traditional retail offering, and with the fashion industry heading online, this approach will allow them to grow."

Designers were invited to submit a portfolio of their work to be judged by industry leaders such as Kate Sylvester, entrepreneur Erica Crawford and fashion commentator Carolyn Enting.

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