WOW International Designers

24 September 2013

Of the 160 finalist garments in the World of WearableArt Awards (WOW) this year, nearly half are from international designers.

Black and white garment designed by 2012 Hong Kong finalist Ling Lai Kit.

In the Op, by 2012 finalist Ling Lai Kit, Hong Kong


Seventy-eight designers are representing nine countries – a huge increase from last year’s awards – and they’ll be competing with 82 of New Zealand’s best.

We’re proud to sponsor the WOW International Designer Award, host the designers on their visit to the capital and help to take WOW to the rest of the world.

As well as hosting the visiting designers for a day of activities in Wellington, we also pair them up with embassies and organise translators for those that need them.

“We love hosting the international WOW designers each year and it is exciting to see such a big increase in the number of overseas finalists,” says City Council Director of City Growth and Partnerships Derek Fry.

While not all of the overseas designers are able to make the trip to New Zealand to see their creations come to life as part of the WOW season, this year a total of 48 finalists and four tutors will be here – representing a cross section of the diverse international talent that the prestigious competition continues to attract.

They come from Australia, Canada, China, Germany, Hong Kong, India, The Netherlands, the UK and the USA.

“The international finalists really are the crème de la crème of artists and costume designers from around the world – which not only means that the standard of competition is higher than ever, but also gives us a fantastic opportunity to showcase Wellington to the world as a hub of creative excellence and a place where anything is possible.”

While they are here we make sure they get a taste of what Wellington is all about – with a traditional powhiri, behind-the-scenes tours at Weta Workshop and Te Papa, and the opportunity to meet the local design and creative community.

This year, members of the public are also invited to join the international finalists at the WOW Designer Forum at Te Papa’s Soundings Theatre on Thursday 26 September from 2.30pm.

With three talented and very successful speakers ready to share their rich knowledge, experience and advice over this 90-minute forum, there are limited seats. To reserve your space, email:

The WOW season opens on Thursday 26 September, and the winners will be announced at the Awards Night on Friday 27 September.