A panel of more than 50 Fashion Industry leaders voted to elect this year’s winner of the Industry’s highest accolade, the Australian Fashion Laureate for outstanding achievement.

Australian designer Dion Lee was honoured with the Australian Fashion Laureate Award for 2017 at a ceremony hosted at The Cutaway, Barangaroo Reserve last Thursday evening.

At age 32, Lee becomes the youngest recipient of the award. He was also the first designer to stage a runway show at the Sydney Opera House. Now based in New York, Lee frequents the Fashion Week runways in London and New York and continues to build his brand globally. Dion Lee started his business in 2008 after graduating from Sydney’s Fashion Design Studio. He has come a long way since, developing a distinctive and sophisticated signature style balancing innovation and wearability.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Laureate Awards recognising individuals who have made a significant contribution to the growth, development and promotion of the Australian Fashion Industry. Previous recipients of the laureate award include Akira Isogawa, Collette Dinnigan and Australia’s Fashion Week founder Simon Lock, to name jusr a few.

The Australian Fashion Industry Alumni consist of media, buyers, communications professionals, brand executives and designers who nominate and elect Laureate recipients in recognition of their outstanding accomplishments. The process is monitored and verified by an independent auditor and managed by IMG.

The other categories of Laureate Winners for 2017 receiving smaller prizes for their significant contributions within the Australian Fashion Industry include Zimmermann for Best Australian Womenswear, Jac + Jack for Best Australian Menswear, Harrolds for Best Australian Retailer, Dinosaur Designs winning the inaugural Best Australian Accessories Designer, and P. E. Nation took out the Etihad Airways Best Australian Emerging Talent Award.

Presenting partner, Etihad Airways issued the winners with two Business Class tickets to anywhere on Etihad Airways’ global network.

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of Australian Fashion laureate, the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences and IMG Fashion is presenting an exhibition featuring the work and accomplishments of past recipients of the Laureate award as well as the winner for 2017.

Opening the Catalyst and Creators exhibition on Friday evening, designer Collette Dinnigan, model Gemma Ward and the Winner of the Best Australian Accessories Designer Award, Stephen Ormandy and Louise Olsen of Dinosaur Designs, each shared the defining moments of their careers. They spoke of their experiences and encouraged those contemplating a move that it is presently the most dynamic time to be in the Fashion Industry.

The Catalyst and Creators exhibition is on display at the Powerhouse Museum until 11th March 2018.

Catalysts and Creators: The 10th Australian Fashion Laureate