Centre L to R: National Designer Award 2018 winners Claire Tregoning and Pip Edwards, flanked by models in looks from the Autumn/Winter 2018 collection of their P. E. Nation label.

SYDNEY — Two year-old Sydney-based premium activewear label P.E. Nation has won the 2018 National Designer Award, one of the Australian fashion industry’s top emerging designer awards.

The announcement was made at the Bourke Street, Melbourne flagship of Australian department store chain David Jones on Wednesday morning Melbourne time, on the first day of the 2018 Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival.

Now in their 22nd year and presented by David Jones, the 2018 awards judging panel was comprised of VAMFF chief executive officer Graeme Lewsey, David Jones women’s wear buying manager Teneille Oakley, designer Carla Zampatti, Harper’s Bazaar Australia editor in chief Kellie Hush and 2017 National Designer Award winner Kacey Devlin.

Out of a field of five finalists, P.E. Nation cofounders and co-creative directors Pip Edwards and Claire Tregoning have won a 100,000 Australian dollar, or $78,000 at current exchange, prize pool, including 15,000 Australian dollars or $11,688 in cash, return international flights and business and financial advisory services.

“It’s a huge honour to win this award — the opportunities it will give us are substantial and we hope to further push our growing brand into the U.S. market,” said Tregoning.

Added Edwards, “The past year has been about business growth. Going from a start up to a fully fledged business. Winning this award will allow us to continue this momentum and widen our customer base across the world.”

The award is the latest in a string of accolades for the duo, whose yet-to-be-unveiled men’s wear capsule became a last-minute addition to the lineup of emerging Australian designers at Pitti Uomo’s Guest Nation Australia showcase in June.

At November’s Australian Fashion Laureate Awards in Sydney, the brand took home the Emerging Talent Award.

Edwards and Tregoning met while both were working in design positions at Sass & Bide’s Sydney headquarters — Edwards in charge of accessories, with Tregoning responsible for knitwear, denim and T-shirts.

After further design stints for Edwards at Australian streetwear chain General Pants and Tregoning, at the Maise and Album Jeans labels, the duo founded P.E. Nation in early 2016.

The vintage sportswear-inspired brand, which embraces technical activewear, men’s wear, yogawear, accessories, swimwear and denim and has done capsule collaborations with Reebok, SoulCycle and New Era, among others, boasts more than 100 stockists, including Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Revolve, Shopbop, Carbon 38, Bandier, Matchesfashion.com, Net-a-porter, Selfridges, Browns and David Jones.

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