KUALA LUMPUR - On an occasion that was billed as the high spot of a six-day fashion festival, the Mercedes-Benz Stylo Fashion Awards Gala paid tribute to deserving talents of the industry.
Held at Hap Seng Star on Friday, the red-carpet event was presented by Mercedes-Benz.
It was part of the Mercedes-Benz Stylo Fashion Grand Prix that coincides with the beginning of Malaysia's Formula 1 Petronas GP.
Designer of the Year went to Bon Zainal and Emerging Designer of the Year was Yona Yuliani Hutari.
Both will have the opportunity to showcase their designs at the Mercedes-Benz Stylo Asia Fashion Week at the end of the year.
Datuk Seri Wong Chun Wai, The Star's group managing director and CEO, presented the award for Emerging Designer of the Year.
The winner received a cash prize of RM15,000 (S$5,770) in aid of design efforts for an upcoming collection.
The cash prizes for the title (inclusive of the first and second runners-up, RM10,000 and RM5,000 respectively) were sponsored by My Creative Ventures - a new government initiative that supports creative development.
According to Roland Folger, the president and CEO of Mercedes-Benz Malaysia, the awards recognise the best players and those who have contributed to the world of fashion in Malaysia.
"We hope to continue to help unearth exceptional talents through this platform, and to present them to the world," he added.
Other awards included Most Promising Designer (Iliza Ho), Best Designer Showcase (Fairuz Ramdan), Best Male Model of the Year (Darren Tan), Best Female Model of the Year (Gabrielle Boudville) and Industry Award (the late Ronnie Choong of Trend Matrix).
Datuk Nancy Yeoh, president and CEO of Stylo International explained the distinction between the Fashion Grand Prix and the Asia Fashion Week that was launched last year.
"The latter is strictly a business-to-business event held for trade buyers.
"The former is now purely a fashion festival, which features all types of designs from current to past collections, styled according to a theme."
Other partners and sponsors for the Fashion Grand Prix include De Beers Diamond Jewellers, Visa Worldwide, A Cut Above, Kinohimitsu, Diva Productions, Asia Fashion Inc, ICAD, Beach Club, Malaysian Official Designers' Association, Bumiputra Designers Association, Harley Owners Club and RAPR Mileage Communications.