SOYA 365 brands tom gunn a winner

tom gunn steps forward to win the Fashion Category of the 2013 Spirit of Youth Awards
SOYA 365 brands tom gunn a winner

tom gunn steps forward to win the Fashion Category of the 2013 Spirit of Youth Awards.

In a step forward for originally designed Australian footwear, Queensland-based gunn's win marks the first time an accessories brand has taken the coveted Fashion Category title. The organisation will take home $5000 in cash, $5000 in Qantas flights, and a 12 month mentorship with fashion designers Nicky and Simone Zimmermann.

tom gunn pride themselves on carefully selected leather, unique designs and contrasting colours and textures. It was this individual perspective and unique point of view that caught the eye of the Zimmermann sisters. Shannon Gunn and Gabrielle Thompson, the duo behind tom gunn, are thrilled at the win and at the chance to work with the women behind the iconic Zimmermann brand. 

‘We are so excited about winning, it’s an amazing opportunity and such a great award – we’re very honoured and can’t think of more inspiring mentors.’

The journey to create the tom gunn brand and find success has been many years in the making. Gunn and Thompson worked in footwear for five years, studied fashion in Australia and attended the Ars Arpel design school in Milan to gain their technical skills. In 2011 Gunn and Thompson launched a retail space in the James Street shopping precinct in Brisbane and a second retail space in Melbourne followed soon after.

The tom gunn brand has been steadily growing with a Capsule trade show in New York, inclusion in the Mercedes Benz Australia Fashion Week and collaborations with designer Gary Bigeni. Around 13 boutiques throughout Australia and New Zealand stock the shoes. They are also available online. The SOYA 365 win will go towards an even greater brand awareness and quality reputation.

The Fashion Category runners up had similarly enterprising submissions. Ainsley Hansen’s Hansen & Gretel label melded conceptual art into contemporary, wearable forms and Kaylene Milner's Sturm & Drang label applied traditional arts and crafts to fashion. The success of these works highlights the SOYA 365 judges’ focus on original, thoughtful and outstanding projects from dedicated creative workers.

SOYA 365’s aim to recognise young creative talent and give Australians financial and professional support has proven to be a successful endeavour with previous winners including Romance was Born, Dion Lee, Antipodium, and last year’s winner Michael lo Sordo. The competition is not limited to fashion with 11 different creative arts categories including interactive gaming, photography, writing and more. New creative categories close every month up until the beginning of October.

Australians aged 18 to 30 are eligible to enter and are encouraged to submit multiple works.

Melanie Sano

Monday 15 April, 2013

About the author

Melanie Sano is an ArtsHub writer.