In a move which has been much debated in the Australian fashion industry, IMG announced today, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia will move dates from April to May 15 – 21, 2016. This date change offers Australian designers to have a chance to compete in the highly lucrative global market of Resort Collections, one that has been welcomed by the Australian fashion industry.
The decision to make MBFWA the home of Resort collections was made in collaboration with local industry leaders, designers and the NSW Government.
In a statement to media, IMG confirmed the welcoming response from some industry players.
“We welcome Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia’s move to late May,” said designer Dion Lee. “MBFWA will now sit within a sales period for our business, which was a missed opportunity in the past. The April date has been too late to take Fall/Winter orders and too early to present Resort. The change in dates will allow us to launch our Resort collection in Sydney during the beginning of the global sales window for this collection.”
With an increasing percentage of global retail budgets allocated to Resort, these collections present a large business opportunity for export. Resort collections are trans-seasonal in nature and see up to a six-month retail life in the Asia Pacific market. In addition, fashion and lifestyle media are increasingly dedicating more resources to cover Resort.
“The global fashion industry is relatively regulated according to an international schedule. It is time that Australia moves forward, pioneering a unique offering that reflects our fashion identity. Australian designers’ ability to present Resort offers both local and international buyers the most relevant and desired collection on the calendar. This means that these collections have a longer sell through period and shelf life, allowing for greater profits and commercial viability,” said Eva Galambos, Director and Buyer, Parlour X.
“The Australian fashion industry is valued at $12 billion, with TCF&L products contributing about $3 billion to Australia’s total exports. Many Australian designers who export are currently producing southern and northern hemisphere collections simultaneously, resulting in up to five seasonal collections each year,” said Catherine Bennett, SVP and Managing Director, IMG Fashion Events & Properties. “Resort collections present a unique offering, as it is the only season where northern and southern hemisphere buying calendars align. With the support of the fashion industry, we look forward to launching Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia as the world’s first Resort event in May 2016.”
The NSW Government, through its tourism and major events agency Destination NSW, is a strategic partner of MBFWA and is working closely with IMG on this new strategy.
“The world’s most influential buyers and media travel to Sydney for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia and the event promotes both the NSW fashion industry and our harbour city as an iconic fashion destination to audiences worldwide. Sydney has been the home of Fashion Week Australia for the past 20 years and this new strategic vision to secure the Resort category presents significant trade and tourism opportunities for NSW and the broader fashion industry,” said Stuart Ayres, NSW Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events.
This strategic evolution of MBFWA from 2016 and beyond will support the 20-year history of an industry event that has helped build global brands and places the spotlight on new Australian design talent. The new timing and Resort offering reflects the qualified opinion of Australian fashion industry leaders and the importance of maintaining global relevance for the region’s leading fashion event.