Seventeen-year-old Zoe Beck has taken out top honours in the Walk the Line fashion show at New Zealand Fashion Weekend on September 2.

The Tauranga Girls’ College student was the overall winner of the Walk the Line event – a fashion show run by youth and for youth that enables teenagers from across New Zealand to showcase their design skills on the world stage.

Walk the Line, now in its fifth year, is entirely organised and run by a group of 13-18 year olds from YMCA’s Raise Up youth development programme. The 2017 show had the largest production and number of participants of any show at NZ Fashion Weekend. Walk the Line has also become a launching pad for many emerging designers such as Danielle Power-Silk, a past Walk the Line winner who has gone on to show collections at NZ Fashion Week and Melbourne Spring Fashion Week.

Zoe won the 2017 Walk the Line competition with a men’s suit featuring a playful minions print. She said her inspiration came from the work of high-end fashion line Moschino, and her design was something completely new and challenging for her.

“I wanted to do something that was different and practical,” she said. “The suit features hip pockets and pleated knees to give detail.”

Competition judge Val Marshall-Smith, a founding director of NZ Fashion Tech, said Zoe’s design was subtle but eye-catching, and could be worn in a variety of ways.  

Zoe was thrilled to win the competition and take home the top prize of a $2000 scholarship to NZ Fashion Tech, New Zealand’s leading fashion educator, where she hopes to study design next year in Wellington or Auckland.

“Not many high school students can say they’ve been to NZ Fashion Weekend, and it’s huge to get out there and understand how everything works,” Zoe said.

Other Walk the Line winners included High Fashion category winner Jemma Botterill (16), Streetwear winner Sabrina Brunton (16), Open category winner Mirene Castelltort (16) and Sustainable category winner Eleanor Hollings-Hatton (16).

All category winners received a $500 gift pack from Revlon and Beatnik Publishing.