2017 Brother Design Stars judges will be announced shortly!

2016 Judge Profiles

Jessie Wong

“Trust yourself, have fun and put yourself out there!”

When it comes to bags, Jessie Wong is an expert! Originally from Wellington, Jessie is the designer for leather-wear brand Yu Mei. Having made 500 bags last year with her bare hands, Jessie is well experienced when it comes to designing, crafting and producing bags. She’s excited to join the Brother Design Stars judging panel this year as a judge for the craft category!

Two minutes with Jessie Wong...

Are you a sewer or crafter? Both?! Leather work is very much a craft but fundamentally you need to know how to sew to bring your creations to life. Unless you have an awesome sample machinist, Grandmother and/or Mum who can sew. Unfortunately I grew up with none of those.

Follow trends or find your own way? Find your own way for sure. I think style is instinctive so you just need to trust your gut!

Describe your style in three words… Simplicity (is) complexity resolved.


Kayla Jurlina

“Confidence is key - own it and own your design!”

An emerging designer in her own right, Kayla Jurlina is back for a second year on the Brother Design Stars judging panel as the Designer of diffusion label, Coop. Kayla’s love affair for fashion began when she met flashing cameras, booming music and beautiful people arriving at a store opening at the age of 13. 23-year-old Kayla is now an up-and-coming Kiwi fashion designer learning from one of the best in business, Trelise Cooper. Kayla believes creativity is fostered from a young age and wants to encourage youth to create, design and sew.

Two minutes with Kayla Jurlina…

Are you a sewer or crafter? Sewer, My grandmother was a seamstress by trade so growing up she made me most of my clothes and gifted me one of her sewing machines when I was 13. This is when my passion for sewing began.

Follow trends or find your own way? I tend to follow my own instincts and gut feelings with what I want to wear or what I want to represent me. Then a month later I open a magazine and see similar trends happening so I feel I have a good instinct when it comes to colour, style and design.

Describe your style in three words… Styled, polished, sophisticated.


Celine Chapman

“If you’re not sure, give it a go! You can always unstitch a mistake and try again. Trust your instincts!”

Celine Champan is the owner and designer of fashion label, Celine Rita. Celine spent her summer holidays in a sewing room creating beautiful garments which friends and family were eager to get their hands on. Word spread and demand quickly grew. When she officially launched her label, Celine Rita, she had a loyal and impressive fan-base which continues to grow each season. Celine Rita celebrates her 7th year in business and is excited to see this year’s stand-out designs after the overwhelming creativity she saw last year.

Two minutes with Celine Chapman…

Are you a sewer or crafter? A designer. Sewing was my first love, my grandmother Rita, was a dressmaker, so it must be in the blood. I love the design process which for me involves a lot of pattern making and sewing until it’s perfect and ready for sampling.

Follow trends or find your own way? Absolutely find your own way, don’t be afraid to go against the grain.

Describe your style in three words… Relaxed, Elegance and Simplicity


Fifi Colston

“Sketch, plan and make patterns before you cut into your fabrics. Sew rather than glue wherever you can.”

When it comes to creativity, Fifi Colston is a guru! An expert in illustration, writing, public speaking, workshop facilitating and arts & crafts Fifi is an all-rounder with years of experience under her belt. She’s no newbie when it comes to creative competitions; she’s a veteran contestant to the World of Wearable Arts (WOW) competition, having 22 garments accepted into the show. Fifi can’t wait to see what young Kiwis can create.

Two minutes with Fifi Colston…

Are you a sewer or crafter? I love it all! Every year with wearable art I make things that involve both talents. Sewing is a lifetime skill that I wouldn't be without.

Follow trends or find your own way? I find my own way but always look to Pinterest for inspiration

Describe your style in three words… Paint splattered jeans


Emma Crossett

“Put real passion into the project, as the entries that have this, always shine through and stand out from the pack.”

Emma Crossett is the General Manager of Marketing for Brother NZ. Emma has been part of the Zonta Design Awards in association with Massey University, as well as a judge and chairperson for the awards. Emma was “wowed” by the 2015 fashion and craft entries and is excited to what this year’s entrants will create!

Two minutes with Emma Crossett…

Are you a sewer or crafter? A crafter. What I really love is how easy it is to take a piece of clothing and tailor it, so it’s unique and fits perfectly to my figure.

Follow trends or find your own way? I prefer to invest in classic, timeless pieces and mix and match these for the occasion.

Describe your style in three words… true to myself.