by johnny 2015 DHL Express Fashion Export Scholarship
DHL, the world's leading logistics company, has revealed local brand by johnny as the winner of the coveted DHL Express Fashion Export Scholarship for 2015, which will see designer Johnny Schembri mentored in his mission to take the label onto the global stage.
Schembri, known for expressing a fearless femininity through his design aesthetic and innovative business ideas, has been growing his label in leaps and bounds since 2009 when he operated out of the Fringe Bar markets. Since then, he has starred in and became a finalist on Project Runway Australia, signed a much-coveted contract with prestigious Australian department store Myer and dressed a number of celebrity fans including Jennifer Hawkins, Katy Perry, Gigi Hadid, Kelly Osborne, Jodi Anasta and Dannii Minogue.
Schembri has impressed the fashion community by proving his ability to innovate, having created a limited edition -Shop the Runway' collection as part of MBFWA 2015 that was exclusive to Myer.
The energetic Sydney-based designer will receive AUD$10,000 worth of international freight, a DHL Express mentorship to supercharge his export strategy and mentoring from IMG Fashion in the United States. Following on from the launch of the DHL Exported competition earlier this year, he will also be flown to New York for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in February 2016 where he will meet with an international buyer.
Schembri was overwhelmed to join the ranks of previous winners of the Scholarship, such as Bec and Bridge, We Are Handsome and Michael Lo Sordo, stating: 'Over the last six years I've worked so hard with my team to create a strong foundation in the Australian marketplace –and I am so grateful to the local buyers, stockists, and supporters here for making it all possible –but I am beyond excited to be given this stepping stone to the global market by DHL Express and IMG Fashion. I can't wait to start working with them to take by johnny from the streets of Sydney and Melbourne to the footpaths of New York and LA."
As part of his ongoing business strategy, Schembri and his team are currently working on growing their e-commerce platform to provide a key access point for international audiences and offering competitive rates and shipping options.
The job of reviewing this year's entrants' look books and credentials fell to an esteemed panel of judges, including: Emily Weight, Director, Strategy and Brand Development, IMG Fashion; Prue Lewington, Sunday Telegraph Fashion Editor; and Jamila Dlala, National Group Sales Manager at DHL Express.
Gary Edstein, Senior Vice President of DHL Express Oceania said, 'We believe this is a fantastic opportunity for by johnny and we're proud to add the label to what has become an illustrious list of Scholarship winners. We are excited to see how the DHL Express Fashion Export Scholarship will help Johnny realize the international exporting potential of his brand. The trip to New York to attend the DHL Exported show is sure to inspire him to grow his business and we look forward to being a part of that process."
DHL Exported is a global collaboration between DHL and IMG Fashion that invites established designers to apply to show in the New York, London, Milan or Tokyo Fashion Week events, with the winner in each market able to debut their collection for two seasons. Locally, the DHL Express Fashion Export Scholarship supports up and coming Australian designers by assisting them in their international expansion plans. Previous winners include Michael Lo Sordo, KHALO, Haryono Setiadi, We Are Handsome and Bec & Bridge, who have each successfully utilized the Scholarship prize to help catapult their business overseas.
Interview with Johnny Schembri
Question: How would you describe by johnny?
Johnny Schembri: Bold and sharp but a little conflicted. I describe my designs as -classic lines with a modern design edge'.
Question: What inspired the creation of by johnny?
Johnny Schembri: It was just what I wanted to do, designing was my outlet. I studied it, I worked in the industry and then I started small on my own. I wanted to design pieces that made women feel proud - all of my designs are created to enhance and contour the female figure.
Question: How does it feel to win the 2015 DHL Express Fashion Export Scholarship?
Johnny Schembri: It feels encouraging! I feel the brand has gone from strength to strength in the past few years, taking each step forward. The DHL Scholarship is another step – it's really motivating.
Question: What does this win mean, for you and the business?
Johnny Schembri: The DHL Fashion Scholarship will support our move into international markets greatly, starting with USA. This expansion means more designing for me, different climates, different seasons, new materials, new women – I look forward to this.
Question: Can you talk about how you hope to work with your mentor to progress the business further?
Johnny Schembri: To better understand the international landscape, from a sales and marketing point of view.
Question: When designing, where do you draw inspiration?
Johnny Schembri: My inspiration comes from my everyday surrounds; different architecture, lighting, weather, art - I'm always taking bits and pieces of it and putting it into my work. I travel whenever I have the time and as soon as I'm back I'm spilling all these memories and visions into new designs.
Question: What are your personal fashion staples?
Johnny Schembri: I keep things simple, I find myself a good cut in a t-shirt and I'm happy. Black, grey, white – I'll usually make a statement with my shoes.
Question: Who do you hope to see in by johnny this year?
Johnny Schembri: I'm really excited to see more international women in the brand, so many of our beautiful Australian girls wear it so well – I'm excited to see how New York or London women take to it.
Question: What's next for by johnny?
Johnny Schembri: To continue to grow the brand locally and internationally.
Interview by Brooke Hunter