Building on the success of our 2016-17 Program, in August 2017 The Minister for Foreign Affairs The Hon Julie Bishop MP again awarded Queensland University of Technology the grant (Media Release)

Applications have now closed. Winners will be decided early December. Thank you for your patience.

For the 2018 program – 2-3 Emerging Australian Designers and 2-3 Emerging Korean Designers will be selected to take part in an exciting exchange of ideas and cultural experience! The program includes International travel to South Korea (1 week in Seoul)  and Australia (1 week in Brisbane and Sydney) where the designers will visit trade events, investigate the local fashion industry, attend workshops and be led by industry mentors. The designers will have the opportunity to collaborate with international designers.

The program is run by Queensland University of Technology and Seoul National University (world-class design precincts with leaders offering industry relevant and cutting edge education). Working with these universities, the designers will accelerate their brands impact nationally and internationally.

This is all possible with the support of The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade who has partnered with the Australian Fashion Chamber to promote, strengthen and develop Australian Fashion and Design by nurturing fashion leaders.

2016-17 Australia-Korea Foundation Emerging Designer Exchange Program reflection

The trip to Seoul in March 2017 was a huge success – a short video on the trip can be viewed here

The trip to Brisbane and Sydney in May 2017 was also a massive step in building connections between the Designers, Industry and learning how to enter our market. The Instagram posts below show what the designers got up to in the program, and the collaborations they are still working on with their international partners.

The 2016-17 Australian designers chosen:


The 2016-17 Korean designers chosen:


Follow the program on INSTAGRAM: #akf_emerge


Read the latest media and stories written about the Emerging Designer Exchange program.

Please direct all Media/Program enquiries to Program Leader Melanie Finger (


2018 Applications are now open until 30 October 2017

Applications will be open Australia wide for fresh graduates to those who have been in the industry for a few years. The Selection panel will look at number of areas including active interest in connecting with the Korean/Australian Fashion Industry through collaborations with industry professionals, designers, artists, manufacturers with a view to entering that market, commercial awareness, presentations, design style and motivation.

The 2016-17 panel was headed up by Melanie Finger (Program Leader) and included Jenni Craik (Head of Fashion, QUT) Carla Van Lunn (Fashion Lecturer and Designer), Joshua Jones (Fashion Consultant, International Buyer), Carly Vidal-Wallace (Director Brisbane Fashion Month / Fashion Editor)

The 2017 Australian runner-ups were:

If you’d like to learn more about this initiative:

Learn more about DFAT grant

Learn more about DFAT/Australian Fashion Chamber Agreement

Emerge website main image photo by Clea Garrick.