New Zealand’s next top designer: Ballantynes’ first Emerging Designers Competition

A 23-year-old design student from Wellington, Millie Pux-Askew, has just been propelled into the fashionable fore, as the winner of Ballantynes’ first Emerging Designers Competition.


Ballantynes’ first Emerging Designers Competition


Millie was chosen from a pool of six finalists who each showed three completed looks at a runway show during Ballantynes’ Fashion Week. The judges were global fashion designers Karen Walker, Rachel Easting and Anjali Burnett of Twenty-seven Names, Remix Magazine fashion photographer Dave Richards and Ballantynes’ Head of Buying Megan McKee.

Millie, whose looks were inspired by a romanticised view of summer and winter, says the win was unexpected. “I’m pretty happy… it is great to see all the work that I put in pay off and this win means I can continue working on this theme and develop a full collection.”
She will receive more than $28,000 in materials, publicity and mentoring from some of New Zealand’s most successful fashion industry insiders and has the opportunity to launch her debut fashion collection with Ballantynes’ Contemporary Lounge where it will be sold instore and online.

The iconic Christchurch department store launched the competition in June, attracting entries from all around New Zealand. The six finalists were Millie along with Hannah Stack (Christchurch), Ella van Beynen (Christchurch), Michelle Shang (Auckland), Emily Verhaaren (Auckland) and Amy Jin (Auckland).
Ballantynes’ Head of Buying Megan McKee says their collections reflect the enormous pool of up and coming design talent in New Zealand. “We were blown away by the standard of these collections.

There were some highly creative concepts and strong technical skills. We have no doubt each finalist has a future in the fashion world.” Megan McKee says Millie’s work was a stand-out. “The judges were impressed by her fabric choices… she used linen and oilskin which brought her summer and winter theme to life. We are looking forward to working with Millie to finesse her label and are excited to see what she does with this amazing opportunity.

We have no doubt she’ll join the long list of Kiwi designers who produce some of the best fashion in the world.”