Sydney designer Dion Lee scores Qantas Award

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The seventh annual Qantas Spirit of Youth Awards (SOYA) has come and past with no real surprises in regards to category dominance. For those who aren’t familiar with the awards that turn the obtainers to gold, SOYA is like a Disney fairytale with its affable ambitions of helping young Australian creatives to achieve their dreams. The night of all around back-patting and kudos-exchanging took place on November 11, and it was then that Sydney-sider Dion Lee swept the Fashion category to claim the cash grant and year-long mentorship with the powerhouse Zimmermann sisters (and we reckon he’d be a treat to mentor compared to their challenge with Romance Was Born’s Luke Sales last year). Similar in backgrounds and beginnings, both Zimmerman and Dion Lee started fresh out of college, rocked the Paddington markets, then found high demand in boutiques nationally. By this time next year, Dion Lee is hoping his garments will be not only national but global treasures.

Other SOYA winners are Ariel Kleiman for Film, Alex Gilmour for Industrial & Object Design, Kyu for Music, Penny Lane for Photography, Clare Peake for Visual Arts, and Motherbird for Visual Communication. Entry information for next year’s awards is available at www.soya.com.au.