The Australia-Korea Emerging Designer Exchange Program 2018 Winners 

Congratulations to our 2018 Australian Winners:

Congratulations to our 2018 Korean Winners:

For the 2018 program – the designers took part in an exciting exchange of ideas and cultural experience. The program included International travel to South Korea (1 week in Seoul)  and Australia (1 week in Brisbane and Sydney) where the designers visited trade events, investigated the local fashion industry, attended workshops and were led by industry mentors. The designers had the opportunity to collaborate with international designers.

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) The program was 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 accelerated their brands impact nationally and internationally.

Our 2018 cohort have completed their weeks in Seoul and Australia. Learn more about the outcomes of the program here.

Fashion Diplomacy in action

While in Sydney, all four designers (Nixi, Hannah, Eunhye and Hwansung) worked collaboratively on a photo-shoot around the streets of Mercedes Benz Fashion Week with Australian fashion photographer Mikey Whyte. The designers styled their pieces together and were involved in the direction of the images. This is a wonderful example of cross-cultural management and has resulted in marketing collateral for their brands in Australian and South Korea.

Images courtesy of Mikey Whyte.

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Follow the program on INSTAGRAM: #akf_emerge


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

The trip to Seoul in March 2017 was a lovely success (view a short video on the trip  here). The trip to Brisbane and Sydney in May 2017 cemented the connections between the Designers and local Industry and gave valuable lessons in entering the Australian market. Each of the designers are still working on their collaborations with their international partners.

The 2016-17 Australian designers chosen:

The 2016-17 Korean designers chosen:


Read the latest media and stories written about the Emerging Designer 2016-2017 Exchange program.

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


Applications are open Australia wide for fresh Fashion Design graduates to those who have been in the industry for a few years. The selection panel looks at a 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.

Panel members have included:  Melanie Finger (Program Leader),  Jenni Craik (Fashion Academic, QUT) Carla Van Lunn (Fashion Lecturer and Designer), Joshua Jones (Fashion Consultant, International Buyer), Kay McMahon (fashion journalist, Style Boomer Blogger), Lydia Pearson (Fashion Lecturer, industry expert + ex Easton Pearson owner), Kiara Bulley (Fashion Academic, QUT), Carly Vidal-Wallace (Director Brisbane Fashion Month / Fashion Editor).

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.


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 credit : Hannah Kim, Melanie Finger, Aiichiro Uno.