IMG said Tuesday that Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia will shift its dates and focus next year. The annual global event, hosted in Sydney, will move from April to May 15 to 21, and the focus will switch from spring to resort collections.
The decision to focus MBFWA on resort collections was made by industry executives, designers and the New South Wales Government in hopes of establishing Sydney as a global fashion capital.
One Australian designer, Dion Lee, said the April date was too late to take fall 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,” Lee said.
It is believed that with an increased percentage of global retail budgets allocated to resort, these collections present a significant business opportunity for export. Resort collections are typically trans-seasonal and have up to a six month retail life in the Asia-Pacific market. In addition, fashion and lifestyle media are dedicating more resources to covering resort.
Catherine Bennett, senior vice president and managing director of IMG Fashion Events & Properties, noted the importance of the Australian fashion industry, which is valued at $12 billion, with textile, clothing, footwear and leather contributing some $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. Resort collections present a unique offering, as it is the only season where Northern and Southern Hemisphere buying calendars align,” Bennett said.
The NSW Government, through its tourism and major events agency Destination NSW, is a partner of MBFWA and is working with IMG on the new strategy.
“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.