Australian Fashion Summit

An annual convergence of thought leaders across a broad spectrum of creative industries that inspire the continued evolution of the fashion landscape to create, and respond to, change.

Friday 13th March
9:00am - 5:30pm

Your Host:

Glynis Traill-Nash
Glynis Traill-Nash Fashion Editor, The Australian


Deakin Edge & Zinc, Federation Square Swanston St &, Flinders St Melbourne VIC 3000


The Australian Fashion Summit is an integral part of the Festival program, bringing together local and global thought leaders in highly collaborative event.

Speakers from a broad spectrum of industries, that all have an impact on the larger fashion landscape, converge on Melbourne in March to explore critical themes affecting the industry, share learnings, and discuss the positive and negative factors impacting the current fashion climate 

Through the exploration of shared ideas and experiences, industry decisions makers and entrepreneurs address critical contemporary themes relevant to the fashion industry and its broader social and economic circles of impact.

This is an essential event for anyone – from students to brand leaders and beyond – who is inspired and affected by the ever-evolving face of fashion.  

The Festival will donate $50 from every full-priced Australian Fashion Summit ticket purchased towards the Victorian Bushfire Appeal.

  • Principal Partner Virgin Australia
  • Government Partner Visit Victoria
  • Payment Innovation Partner VISA
  • Education Partner RMIT University


  • Glynis Traill-Nash
    Summit Host
    Glynis Traill-Nash Fashion Editor, The Australian
  • Celeste Barber
    Celeste Barber Actress, Writer, Comedian
  • Laura Brown
    Laura Brown Editor in Chief, Instyle USA
  • Eva Kruse
    Eva Kruse CEO & President, Global Fashion Agenda & Copenhagen Fashion Summit
  • Grace Lillian Lee
    Just Announced
    Grace Lillian Lee Designer, Mentor, Artist, Curator
  • Clare Press
    Just Announced
    Clare Press Podcaster and Sustainability Editor of Vogue Australia
  • Claire Ferres Miles
    Just Announced
    Claire Ferres Miles CEO, Sustainability Victoria
  • Julie Stevanja
    Just Announced
    Julie Stevanja Founder & Head of Stylerunner
  • Zachary Bako
    Just Announced
    Zachary Bako Photographer and Filmmaker
  • Lin Lin
    Lin Lin Chief Executive Operator/ Head of International Affairs, CIBE
  • James Bartle
    James Bartle Founder, Outland Denim
  • Daniel Parsons
    Daniel Parsons Head of Merchant Sales and Acquiring, Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific​, VISA
  • Grant Pearce
    Grant Pearce Editorial Director, GQ
  • Marlee Silva
    Marlee Silva Writer and Podcast Host
  • Mary Lou Ryan
    Mary Lou Ryan Co-founder and Creative Director, bassike
  • Rebecca Vallance
    Rebecca Vallance Founder & Creative Director, Rebecca Vallance
  • Margie Woods
    Margie Woods Founder & Creative Director, VIKTORIA & WOODS
  • Lisa Gorman
    Lisa Gorman Creative Director, Gorman
  • Marnie Goding
    Marnie Goding Creative Director, ELK
  • Richard Facioni
    Richard Facioni Executive Director, Alceon Group
  • Mitch Tambo
    Mitch Tambo Actor, Presenter and Performer



  • 09:30

    Acknowledgement of Country

    Performance by Mitch Tambo​
  • 09:40

    Summit Welcome

    Speaker(s): Glynis Traill-Nash, Daniel Parsons, David Briskin, Festival Chairman, The Hon. Martin Foley MP, Minister for Creative Industries​
  • 09:50

    Summit Introduction

    Speaker(s): Glynis Traill-Nash​
  • 09:55

    Redesigning Fashion’s ​ Business Model

    Fashion is one of the largest, most resource intensive industries, but also a powerful engine for global growth and development. The current model, however, is pushing the earth beyond its planetary boundaries and challenging social justice. In a time when new technology is enabling traditional business models to disrupt, businesses and organisations have the opportunity to re-evaluate the current growth logic. To put fashion on a path to long-term prosperity financially, socially and environmentally, an entirely new radical approach to the current business model and a complete disruption of the fashion system are necessary. ​Keynote Presentation followed by a conversation with Clare Press.

    Speaker(s): Eva Kruse, Clare Press (Session Host)
    Keynote Presentation & Conversation
  • 10:30

    Risk and Reputation

    Australian designers that have created successful businesses that last, with local and global footprints, are no strangers to risk taking. In a brutal and brittle fashion industry, ​their measured assessment and tolerance for creative, operational, and marketing risks are balanced with an understanding of customer, business stakeholder and their individual capacity to face whatever comes in the pursuit of excellence. ​

    Speaker(s): Margie Woods, Rebecca Vallance, Mary Lou Ryan, Glynis Traill-Nash​ (Session Host)
    Panel Discussion
  • 11:10

    Morning Tea

    Refreshments and snacks will be served in the Foyer.

  • 11:35

    Financing Fashion

    Designers and investors give insight into what makes a successful creative / commercial relationship, across different business models. What are investors looking for in fashion brands, what are the advantages and pitfalls of investment collaborations, and of remaining independent? What are the ethics of the money trail, from banks and investors, to brand leaders, through to customers as brands communicate to consumers that where they shop matters? In an industry in which it is notoriously difficult to thrive, what are the core disciplines of the financing sector that smaller creative businesses can learn from? ​ Presented by VISA.

    Speaker(s): Julie Stevanja, Marnie Goding, Richard Facioni, Jackie Frank (Session Host)
    Panel Discussion


  • 12:10

    The Role of Culture in Trade

    The tides of macro consumer trends can elevate or crush businesses seeking to play in territories beyond their home ground. Building an authentic connection to customer sentiment, with a thorough awareness of cultural sensitivities are vital for fashion brands. ​What are the cultural nuances across social and business exchanges that can elevate a brand above the rest?​ Presented by Global Victoria.

    Speaker(s): Grant Pearce (Session Host), Lin Lin, Matt Jensen, Zachary Bako
  • 12:45

    Who Really Has Influence Today

    All of fashion’s traditional structures and unwritten rules have been inverted in the course of the last decade, arguably to fantastically positive effect. In the past year, even the industry’s newer social media powerhouses have been forced to rethink their proposition as customers seek values-led role models as their style influencers. ​In conversation with the woman that led a social media-powered revolution, and up-ended fashion’s self-perception, the serious role of criticism and humour is assessed as a tool to bridge authentic exchange between buyer and seller.

    Speaker(s): Celeste Barber, Glynis Traill-Nash (Session Host)
    In Conversation
  • 13:20

    Lunch Break

    Enjoy a healthy, shareable lunch whilst overlooking the Yarra River, with plenty of opportunity to interact and network. ​RMIT students will enter round table discussions with some of the Summit speakers.

  • 14:15

    Copenhagen Fashion Summit Micro-Panel

    Leaders can transform words into action, moving from theory to what businesses can do today. How leaders can be driving force for change by adopting sustainable solutions.​

    Speaker(s): Eva Kruse, James Bartle​, Claire Ferres Miles, Clare Press (Session Host)
    Panel Discussion
  • 14:55

    Indigenous Culture, Contemporary Creativity

    Design-led thinking across sectors has long been recognised as vital for creative economies to flourish, as well as for communities to thrive. This is layered with the imperative for businesses to operate in a manner that is respectful of people and place. Let's discuss the Australian indigenous context and how culturally respectful practices across the fashion industry can lead to wholistic benefits, to individuals, businesses and country. ​ ​

    Speaker(s): Mitch Tambo, Grace Lillian Lee, Lisa Gorman, Marlee Silva (Session Host)
    Panel Discussion
  • 15:35

    Fashion Now, According To…

    The closing speaker of the Summit has built a career creating great fashion moments whilst demonstrating values that the world really wants and needs today. ​For professionals and customers alike to look to an unlikely role model – a fashion magazine editor – to set an example of optimism, passionate socio-political discourse, bold defiance of marginalization, building power through empowering others, and showing strength through generosity, these qualities lift the whole fashion industry in both perception and practice. ​The Summit proudly presents a vision of Fashion Now, According to Laura Brown.​

    Speaker(s): Laura Brown, Glynis Traill-Nash (Session Host)
    In Conversation
  • 16:15

    Student Voice

    The Summit will close with an opportunity for the next generation of industry leaders to provide their closing thoughts from the discussions of the day, and a message to the delegates present about their hopes for the industry they will step into in the coming years. ​

    Speaker(s): Fiona Wilshin, Julie MacIndoe
  • 16:25

    Farewell & Networking Drinks

    Delegates are invited to enjoy Networking Drinks in the Deakin Edge Foyer​.

[gravityform id="1" title="false" description="false" ajax="true"]