Qantas SOYA
Fashion Award

The winner and runners up of our hotly contested SOYA 365 Fashion category have now been chosen.

This is always an exciting category with many entrants often ready to break into the industry. Which entrant will receive the extra push that SOYA offers?

Mentors Nicky and Simone Zimmermann, the team behind one of Australia’s most influential and enduring fashion labels, will help steer the winner through a career in the fashion industry, on a path successfully traversed by previous winners Romance was Born, Dion Lee, Antipodium and last year’s winner Michael lo Sordo. Several previous winners are right this moment making waves at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Australia.

This year had an amazing selection of entries, and an incredible shortlist of 15 talented designers, as well as a further group of Highly Commended entrants, all of whom deserve congratulations. Mentors Nicky and Simone Zimmermann found the decision a challenging one to make.


The SOYA Award for Fashion in 2013 goes to shoe design duo Shannon Gunn and Gabrielle Thompson.

Working together under their label tom gunn, Shannon and Gabrielle create original footwear made with carefully selected leathers, contrasting colours and textures and a focus on individual styling.

Trained in Australia and Italy, this industrious pair now has their wares stocked throughout Australia and New Zealand and their shoes have been displayed at prestigious events in New York and on home shores.


Ainsley Hansen (Hansen & Gretel)
Ainsley works at delivering designs that balance conceptual art through contemporary, wearable forms made available via accessible pricepoints.

To Ainsley, fashion design is about crafting an idea into a concept and building it into a shape by sculpting its silhouette. “From design through to construction, the true art of fashion is how we tailor such ideas to our current times. Personally, these times are characterized by social media societies, fashion supermarkets and the ‘Millennials’ who are empowered with overwhelming product knowledge and expectation.”

Kaylene Milner (Sturm & Drang)
Kaylene Milner’s Sturm & Drang label was born out of a desire to create garments that are at once feminine without being girly, and strong without being masculine. The brand focuses on reviving traditional arts and crafts through fashionable applications – in an attempt to collaborate with artisans and keep their trade alive. Leather tooling, wet felting, needle felting, smocking, knitting and weaving are just some of the techniques employed to explore and mimic the wild overgrown foliage and natural surfaces found in the forest.

Watch this space for news of when Fashion will re-open for next year’s SOYA 365 round, and keep an eye on our social media channels for the inside stories!