Dunedin fashion graduate Emily Scott is yet to receive her prize after winning the inaugural Australian Graduates Fashion Week in November last year. Photo by Craig Baxter.
Dunedin fashion graduate Emily Scott is still waiting to
receive more than $15,000 worth of prizes from Australian
Graduates Fashion Week, more than two months after winning
the inaugural event in Sydney.
The Otago Daily Times has been told others associated
with the November event are also out of pocket and have taken
legal action against organisers.
Miss Scott (21) won $10,000 to launch her fashion design
career, a $5000 website package, a two-page spread in
international fashion magazine Cielo and various other
But she said calls and emails to event organisers had been
ignored and she doubted whether she would ever receive her
''The whole thing just seems like a joke. If this is how they
are going to run it, I don't think it will go very far,'' she
An Australian public relations employee who worked for
Australian Fashion Graduates Week said the event had ''turned
sour'' and Miss Scott was not the only one owed money.
The ex-employee asked to remain anonymous because she did not
want to be associated with the competition.
''Myself and several other team members have not received
payment for work, nor reimbursement for things we paid for.
''I spoke to Emily before Christmas and advised her to take
the same action I have taken, to get legal help for this
matter,'' she said.
''Unfortunately, a great event has turned sour and given
itself a bad reputation,'' the woman said.
Project co-ordinator Elmedin Kumalic said delays in getting
prizes to winners were beyond his control.
He said the $10,000 cash prize was only registered in
Australia, despite the competition being opened to New
Zealanders. The money had proved difficult to transfer. He
said Miss Scott would receive the money in the next week, as
well as her other prizes.
''She was advised there was going to be a delay,'' he said.
Mr Kumalic said other prize winners were also waiting to
receive products, which had been late coming from sponsors.
He did not know the details about money owed to former
employees, but said it was being dealt with. He said prize
delays were unfortunate and had been made worse by businesses
closing over Christmas and the New Year.
He was unable to comment on whether the event would be held
Cielo editor Dimitri Frost, who also judged the competition,
said yesterday he had been overseas for work and unable to
arrange the spread which was part of the prize. He said he
would feature Ms Scott's work as she had been promised.
It was the first major competition Miss Scott had entered,
and she was left disillusioned.
''You just presume that if you win something you will
actually receive it.''
The event included 32 fashion graduates from Australia and
New Zealand, of which Miss Scott was one of three entrants
from the Otago Polytechnic School of Design.
She travelled to Sydney with her parents and sister to see
her garments modelled at the competition, for which she paid
a $98 entry fee.
''I was so excited about winning. It was amazing to be
praised by the judges. They said my collection was cohesive.
They loved the accessories and colours used, and they
appreciated the unconventional cuts of my garments.
''All that excitement and elation has now disappeared, I feel
really let down and frustrated.''
Otago Polytechnic academic leader of fashion Margo Barton
said it was extremely concerning a graduate appeared to have
been ''ripped off''.
''This is an appalling way to treat a young designer and the
organisers of this event should be very embarrassed. It's a
disgrace that such an exciting moment in Emily's career has
been tarnished by this level of unprofessionalism. She
deserves her prize,'' Dr Barton said.