SYDNEY — Due to a soft retail market and unprecedented competition from international retailers, a raft of Australian fashion labels have closed their doors over the past two years — while others, such as Zimmermann and Sass & Bide, are focussing marketing efforts on the runways of New York as they power ahead both locally and internationally.
The end result for next week’s Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia is a little less Oz fashion establishment than usual — while more than half of the 72 brands on the schedule are up-and-coming names.
Here, a look at some of the newbies:
Sydney sisters Rachel and Alex Sims graduated from the city’s Whitehouse Institute of Design and the College of Fine Arts, respectively, in 2012, before travelling to London. There, Alex, a fashion designer, interned for Swash, while Rachel, a textile and print specialist, interned for Mary Katrantzou and Peter Pilotto.
On April 10, the duo will show their first commercial collection as part of the group New Generation show. “The Lost Wanderer” is a 17-piece collection of fused silk organza dresses and separates featuring A-line silhouettes and hand-pleating, with all garments boasting the brand’s signature engineered digital prints — in this collection’s case, inspired by European art galleries.
The duo’s highly labor-intensive approach sees each print designed specifically to the shape of the garment. “The print might curve around the shape of the hem, a few garments have curved hems,” said Alex. “Every print on each garment is unique to the garment and not repeated at all, which is good I think because every piece is unique.”
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews