IN a move which industry experts have labelled a game changer for Australian fashion, the 2016 Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week (MBFWA) will launch the world’s first showcase of resort collections.
Presented by global talent management and event company IMG, and with an injection of $155,000 a year from the City of Sydney, MBFWA will also be pushed to May from April, to ensure the showcase capitalises on the launch.
In previous years, Fashion Week has struggled with the issue of seasonality, landing Australian designers as well as the event in what Edwina McCann, editor-in-chief of Vogue Australia labelled as “no-man’s land”.
“Previously Fashion Week has been held neither in spring/summer for Australian buyers, nor autumn/winter for overseas buyers,” McCann said.
Designers would often show pieces that had already been debuted at Paris fashion week, and even updated pieces wouldn’t be available for buyers, she said.
“The industry really needed to rethink fashion week, and the smartest thing to do was to introduce a resort collection which would give designers a real chance to be the first cab off the rank.”
Models walk the runway during the Ten Pieces show at Bondi Icebergs in April. Picture: GettySource:Supplied
An IMG spokeswoman said as resort season was the only one that lined up the buying schedule of both the northern and southern hemisphere, the change “presents a unique offering that is quintessentially Australian”.
With the growth of demand from South-East Asia, the move also strategically capitalises on the buying power of the market.
“With an increasing percentage of global retail budgets allocated to Resort, these collections present a large business opportunity for export,” an IMG spokeswoman said.
“Resort collections are transeasonal in nature and see up to a six-month retail life in the Asia Pacific region.”
Vogue Editor Edwina McCann with models Jess Gomes and Bridget Malcolm. Picture: Stephen CooperSource:News Corp Australia
While concern was raised about City of Sydney contributing a substantial amount to an established global company such as IMG, a council spokeswoman said Fashion Week had previously generated hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue for designers, and would bring a boost to Sydney businesses.