Sarah-Jane Clarke and Heidi Middleton, co-founders and co-directors of sass & bide, were announced as the Australian winners of the Veuve Clicquot Business Woman Award 2010.
The Veuve Clicquot Business Woman Award began in France in 1972 to commemorate Madame Clicquot, and to honour women who possess her qualities of vision, innovation, entrepreneurial drive, leadership, individuality and tenacity. It is a global award given to a leading woman entrepreneur in 17 countries annually. In 2010, the Award places a greater focus on Corporate Social Responsibility, seeking out successful business women who have embedded socially and environmentally responsible practices within their businesses. Nominations were received from throughout Australia, with the judges short-listing three finalists: Sarah-Jane Clarke and Heidi Middleton (joint nomination), Belinda David-Tooze (CEO and founder, Envirosax) and Kylie Kwong (chef, restaurateur, presenter and writer).
“The calibre of all the nominations we received was extremely high and the four women finalists, in particular, are inspiring business leaders who embody Madame Clicquot’s qualities and embrace the principles of corporate social responsibility,” said Janet Holmes à Court. “The judging process was very difficult, but at the end of the day we felt that Sarah-Jane’s and Heidi’s entrepreneurship, audacity and creativity singled them out. Through their style, persistence and integrity, they have created a multi-million dollar global company which operates according to their own principles and vision.”
Sarah-Jane Clarke & Heidi Middleton are the co-creators of sass & bide, one of Australia’s best known fashion brands. What began eleven years ago as a cult denim label quickly expanded into a seasonal ready-to-wear business, evolving from an underground phenomenon in Australia to the runways of London and New York. sass & bide today has 150 stockists worldwide, ten stand-alone stores in Australia, and a rollcall of celebrity fans including Kate Moss, Mischa Barton and Cameron Diaz. It employs more than 80 staff working across design, sales, communications, finance, production and retail business.