All roads for New Zealand's fashions in the field competitions lead to the national final - The Ned Prix de Fashion - set to be held here at Ellerslie Racecourse on Vodafone Derby Day, Saturday 6 March 2021, as a part of Auckland Cup Week.
Not only will our national titleholder take home the Supreme Winner title and a $15,000 prize package from The Ned, she will also get the chance to compete in Melbourne in the Fashions on the Field competition at the Melbourne Cup Carnival 2021 as part of a $5,000 prize from the Victoria Racing Club.
Today we've outlined how the competition works, what events will see their winner automatically qualify for its Regional Final AND answered some FAQs.
The Ned Prix de Fashion - How does it work on the day at Ellerslie?
Regional Final The first phase of this competition is the Regional Final which features winners of competitions that have taken place around the country (see qualifier competitions below) in the lead-up to the day AND four women who earned themselves a "last chance wild card' spot in the Fashion Qualifiers in association with Milford Centre which takes place on the runway earlier in the day.
Top five From the Regional Final, the top five finalists are selected and announced.
Winner-takes-all From the top five, one Supreme Winner is announced and takes home the winner-takes-all prize package and earns the national title for the year. There are no placegetters.
The Ned Prix de Fashion - 2020/21 pre-qualifying events
Below is a list of all the pre-qualifying events for the 2020/21 season.
2020/21 qualifying competition dates
17 October | Livamol Classic, BOSTOCK New Zealand Spring Racing Carnival, Hawke's Bay Racing Club
14 November | New Zealand Cup Day, New Zealand Cup Week - Canterbury Jockey Club
21 November | Counties Cup Day, Counties Racing Club
29 November | Cromwell Christmas at the Races, Otago Racing Club
12 December | Ascot Park Christmas at the Races, Southland Racing Club
LATE ADDITION - 12 December | Waikato Cup Day, Te Rapa Racing
** 26 December | Boxing Day Races, Auckland Racing Club (first and second both qualify)
LATE ADDITION - 30 January | Wellington Cup Day, Wellington Racing Club
27 Feb | Matamata Breeders Stakes Day, Matamata Racing Club
** 6 March | Fashion Qualifiers in association with Milford Centre, Vodafone Derby Day, Auckland Cup Week, Auckland Racing Club (four women will earn last minute, wild card spots)
Check out our fashion section for more information on our own raceday fashion competitions, past winners, pre-qualified contestants and more.
The Ned Prix de Fashion is held on Vodafone Derby Day. Derby Day events are traditionally black and white - does this mean I should stick to that colour-way? This is a tricky one and we admit it's confusing! Since its inception alongside that of Vodafone Derby Day, The Ned Prix de Fashion has always been held on this day BUT, it's only in recent years that racegoers have started to take notice of the day's suggested (and traditional) colour palette. We appreciate that some Regional Finalists may wish to wear the same outfit they wore in their local competition and that outfit may be colourful. Further, we don't want to put pressure on anyone having to organise a new outfit - particularly if they think theirs has the winning edge. We also want to ensure our judges select the best dressed, no matter the colour they're wearing. SO - for The Ned Prix de Fashion 2021, judges will be well-briefed that ANYONE can win the title - no matter what colour(s) they are wearing. Black and white will not provide an advantage and, if you cast your eye back through past winners, you'll see we have had a mix of monochrome and colourful winners. The Fashion Qualifiers in association with Milford Centre, which is held earlier on the day that The Ned Prix de Fashion takes place, also has an open colour policy - wearing the Derby Day colours of black and white will not provide an advantage or disadvantage. Spectators, however, are encouraged to get into the spirit of Vodafone Derby Day and wear black and/or white!
I've pre-qualified for the Regional Final, do I have to wear the same outfit I wore when winning my local competition? The conditions remain the same for 2021's competition as they always have - pre-qualified regional contestants may, but do not have to, wear the same outfit they wore when winning their local competition.
If I'm announced as The Ned Prix de Fashion Supreme Winner, do I have to wear my winning outfit when I then go on to compete in Melbourne? Yes, if you wish to receive automatic entry to the Fashions on the Field Lexus Melbourne Cup Day Preliminary Final, you are required to compete in your winning outfit. Should you not wish to wear your winning outfit, you forfeit their automatic entry to the Fashions on the Field Lexus Melbourne Cup Day Preliminary Final, but may enter the heats in a new outfit.
Why can't men enter The Ned Prix de Fashion? We are lucky enough to have Victoria Racing Club on board as one of the competition's major partners and, as part of their prize, the winner gets to fly to Melbourne to compete in the females-only MYER Fashions on the Field competition. All is not lost for the gents however, on the same day of the competition we hold a Menswear Award (a relatively new addition to the line-up) which also has some brilliant prizes up for grabs.
How much does it cost to enter The Ned Prix de Fashion? Nothing! Entry into the competition is free for all female racegoers on course aged 18yr+. Men on course aged 18+ are welcome to enter the day's Menswear Award which is also free to enter. If you have pre-qualified for the Regional Final, you'll receive complimentary tickets to Vodafone Derby Day in order for you to get on course and compete.
I want to have a crack at the Fashion Qualifiers in association with Milford Centre on Vodafone Derby Day for a last chance to pre-qualify for The Ned Prix de Fashion Regional Final - how do I enter? Entering is easy. You can either enter on the day at the registration desk by the fashion marquee OR you help avoid the queues and speed things up on the day by pre-registering online. We open up pre-registrations closer to the event date. Keep an eye out on this website.