Australian Fashion Week is an annual event that celebrates fashion and culture. It is officially called Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia due to the current principal sponsor and it is a time when the most prominent names in the fashion industry, from editors, influencers to models, and even buyers, flock to Sydney to take part in the country’s most important fashion and lifestyle event.
Usually, it takes places in May and the latest spring/summers creations from Australian and Asia Pacific designers are showcased at the event. It is an event dedicated to retail buyers and unlike consumer fashion weeks where clothes currently available are on display, this one showcases only upcoming collections.
In the last several years, Carriageworks in Redfern, Sydney, was the meeting point for Australia’s most talented fashion designers, best-known retailers and red carpet celebrities, as this is the venue where the event has been held since 2013.
The event was founded by Simon Lock, a PR consultant and ski magazine reporter, and the very first edition of the Australian Fashion Week was held in 1996.
An event for local and international designers
Each year, Australian Fashion Week sets the scene for a spectacular event that runs abreast the most famous international fashion shows. Australian designers took advantage of Fashion Week to showcase their latest creations and thus draw international attention and recognition in a bid to increase their following and profits.
A curated selection of well-known fashion designers in Australia, as well as the most outstanding new talent in the country, participates at runway shows, presentations and other industry events.
Over the years, a number of innovative local designers such as Alex Perry, Zimmermann, Lisa Ho, Toni Maticevski, Leona Edmiston, Easton Pearson, Ericaamerica and Gwendolynne have made a name for themselves at the fashion show, which brings together both local and international fashion elite.
Actually, this is the only fashion festival in Australia of international notoriety and it connects local designers with a worldwide audience of buyers, consumers and media.
The front rows at the week-long fashion show are always filled with local and global celebrities, who attract international attention to the event, prominent influencers, and of course media representatives from all over the globe who are ready to show the creations of the Australian designers to the entire world. The event opens the Australian fashion industry to exceptional business opportunities.
Though sometimes the show has been criticized for being out of sync with the international fashion market, as it happened in 2012 when some designers preferred to get ready for international events and skipped the Australian Fashion Week, it seems that buyers from all over the globe consider the easy-going style of Australian fashion quite appealing.
As with any other fashion festival, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia tries to bring something new every year. For instance, the lead-up event to 2018’s show took place on an actual runway, as in a real airport runway. Two models donning clothes created by local fashion house Romance Was Born, formed by the talented duo Anna Plunkett and Luke Sales, posed next to an Etihad Airways plane as part of the Runway to Runway event.
All in all, the success of the Australian fashion industry depends on local designers and the international consumers and buyers, and the relationship between these two parts. Though prospects look good at the moment, the future of fashion in the country ultimately relies on international collaborations.