DHL, the world’s leading logistics company, has revealed Michael Lo Sordo as the winner of the coveted DHL Express Fashion Export Scholarship which will see Lo Sordo given the tools to help take the label onto the global stage.
Michael Lo Sordo, known for his timeless and luxurious designs, has been growing his label in leaps and bounds over the last 6 years, recently securing Net-A-Porter as an exclusive international stockist to launch in September 2014. His designs have been spotted on celebrities such as Jessica Mauboy, Montana Cox, and Kendall Jenner of Kardashian family fame, as well as being the go-to-man for big name fashion bloggers including Margaret Zhang (Shine By Three), Nicole Warne (Gary Pepper Girl), and Alexandra Spencer (4th and Bleeker).
Lo Sordo receives AU $10,000 worth of international freight, a DHL Express mentorship to supercharge his export strategy and, for the first time, mentoring from IMG Fashion in the US. Following on from the launch of the DHL Exported competition earlier this year, he will also be flown to New York for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week where he will meet with an international buyer.
Lo Sordo said he was overwhelmed by the honour and what this means for his business: “My brand philosophy has always been about understanding our market, and who the Michael Lo Sordo customer is, as I believe this is the key idea to achieving our future goals.”
“Since the label began, I knew it was important to cement our foundation strongly within the Australian market before branching out overseas. Over the years we have built a reputation for our designs with strong support from celebrities as well as local and international media and buyers.
“I am so grateful to DHL Express and IMG Fashion for this opportunity, and can’t wait to start this new journey with them.”
As part of his ongoing business strategy, Lo Sordo and his team are currently working on developing their online marketing and social media efforts, building a brand new website which will allow them to have a regularly updated blog and e-boutique.
The job of reviewing this year’s entrants’ look books and credentials fell to an esteemed panel of judges, including: Elle Turner, Director, Strategy and Brand Development, IMG Fashion; Alice McCall, acclaimed Australian fashion designer; Prue Lewington, Sunday Telegraph Fashion Editor; and Michael McManus, Sales Manager at DHL Express.
Alice McCall said Michael Lo Sordo was an obvious choice due to his understanding of range planning, ability to appeal to a range of demographics and styles, successful export strategy and huge potential for international growth: “Michael has that subtle gift in that he can make collections stand out, but not shout. You can imagine his collections fitting in seamlessly at Barneys or Bergdorf Goodman. Finding this balance is critical for international success. But taking a brand to the global market is about more than just the aesthetic, it is about delivering on time; understand the fit of the garments; and having a great quality product. Michael has all this and more. He shows a real balance between commercial appeal and having a unique twist – I can’t wait to see where he goes from here.”
Gary Edstein, Senior Vice President of DHL Express Oceania said “We hope that, by linking the local Scholarship with our global DHL Exported competition this year, we will give Michael Lo Sordo all the opportunity and guidance needed to also make it onto the DHL Exported honour roll.”
DHL Exported is a global collaboration between DHL and IMG Fashion that invites established designers to apply to show in the New York, London, Milan or Tokyo Fashion Week events, with the winner in each market able to debut their collection for two seasons.
Locally, the DHL Express Fashion Export Scholarship is about helping to support up and coming Australian designers. Previous winners include KAHLO, Haryono Setiadi, We Are Handsome and Bec & Bridge, who have each successfully utilised the Scholarship prize to help catapult their business overseas.