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Australian Designers Headed to New York

Five are bringing their fall collections this month for a special presentation, courtesy of The Woolmark Co. and Australians in New York Fashion Foundation.

Five Down Under designers are coming up.

This story first appeared in the January 6, 2012 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

The Woolmark Co., in partnership with the Australians in New York Fashion Foundation, has created The Australian Five initiative, in which Australian fashion designers Christopher Esber, Fernando Frisoni, Kym Ellery, Magdalena Velevska and Michael Lo Sordo will bring their fall collections to New York for a special program at the Crosby Street Hotel Jan. 24 to 27.

The program is part of the G’Day USA initiative, an annual program designed to showcase Australian business capabilities in the U.S., Australia’s largest trading and investment partner. A spokeswoman said this is the first time Australian designers will present their lines in this type of format, although Woolmark has supported several who have shown at New York Fashion Week the last five years.

“The Australian Five is focused on bringing the best of Australian design and putting them in front of New York’s best fashion editors, stylists and buyers,” said Woolmark Co. chief executive officer Stuart McCullough.

The program is aimed at giving the designers a chance to forge relationships with key members of the American fashion industry. It will include an educational seminar at the Australian Consulate, followed by a cocktail party and live model presentation on Jan. 26 at the Crosby Street Hotel.

Malcolm Carfrae, co-founder of AINYFF and executive vice president of global communications at Calvin Klein Inc., said the initiative is an “opportunity for New York opinion formers to view the work of five talented young Australian fashion designers in a very intimate and close-up setting, meet the designers and really see the fabric innovation and design skill.”

Nancy Pilcher, editorial director at large for Condé Nast Asia Pacific, is taking on the role as mentor, assisting the designers to present their brands to the U.S. market.

G’Day USA celebrations are managed and produced annually by the Department of Foreign Affairs, Australian Trade Commission, Tourism Australia, Qantas Airways and the State Governments of New South Wales, South Australia, and Victoria. DHL will support The Australian Five through preparing them with export and import services.

Australian Wool Innovation Limited, the owner of the Woolmark Co., is a not for-profit enterprise driving the research, development and marketing of the Australian wool industry. The AINYFF is comprised of a diverse group of Australians who have many years of experience in Australia and New York, and include editors, journalists, creative directors, publicists, photographers, models and fashion designers.