Australian Fashion On The Global Stage

Each year, more and more Australian fashion designers are making their mark on the global stage, with designers such as Zimmerman, Tome and Dion Lee receiving international acclaim for their recent shows at NYFW.


Zimmerman's recent NYFW Runway.

Our Festival CEO Graeme Lewsey believes that we should be celebrating this success and says, "We arguably have more designers, stylists and models than ever before heading up a great force that makes up a dynamic part of our creative industries sector and they are being showcased on the global stage. It is a testament to the fact that there are global customers that are genuinely inspired by this abundant Australian creative talent”.

The Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival (VAMFF) prides itself on being a platform to help launch and support this growing industry especially as a result of the Festival’s prestigious National Designer Award (NDA), fostering excellence in the fashion industry. Past winners of the award include Toni Maticevski (2002), Josh Goot (2005), Yoejin Bae (2007), Romance Was Born (2009) and Dion Lee (2010). 

toni maticevski

Toni Maticevski Runway as part of 2012 Festival.

With Ellery and Martin Grant both scheduled for the upcoming Paris Fashion Week and StrateasCarlucci  showing at Milan Fashion Week's Men's shows in June, there's certainly a spotlight on Australia as a key player in the international fashion circuit. 

“The number of Australian brands who have successfully launched internationally has shown the world that we are a viable market.  We embrace fashion, style, and design with great passion.  The success of our home-grown designers and creative talent internationally reinforces our credibility as fashion and design-led innovators” says Lewsey.

The Festival's sister organisation the Australia Global Fashion Alliance (AGFA) has also been busy on the international stage forging great collaborations and promoting our homegrown talents. This week the Festival and AGFA was honoured to have been hosted by the Deputy Australian High Commissioner, Andrew Todd, at a bespoke Creative Diplomacy Luncheon. 

Graeme Lewsey

VAMFF CEO Graeme Lewsey and Australian Deputy High Commissioner Andrew Todd.

The Initiative staged during the London Design Festival was in celebration of Australian and British creative partnerships, with an inspiring guest list that included brand representatives from Reiss, Tom Dixon, Alessi, Dinosaur Designs, Aesop, The White Story by Fiona Myer, Anna Quan, Celeste Tesoriero and global forecasters The Future Laboratory to mention a few. An incredible round table discussion was staged to share collective wisdom, harness the collaborative momentum and set a foundation for diplomatic work that enables our creative industry’s economic pathways to flourish internationally.

Creative Diplomacy Luncheon

Creative Diplomacy Luncheon in London.

Furthermore, the Festival’s "See Now, Buy Now" structure is now being widely celebrated as being at the forefront of the change agenda for fashion weeks around the world. For 20 years, the Festival has embraced the “Shop the Runway” ethos, whereby capturing the consumer excitement generated from the Runway, with a direct conversion to immediate retail sales, in real time.

This weekend, the Australian Fashion Chamber (AFC) will show their Australian Designers Abroad showroom in Paris, as part of Paris Fashion Week. The line-up will include a mix of established and emerging Australian fashion talent, namely: Romance Was Born, Tome, Christopher Esber, macgraw, Megan Park, P.E. Nation, Pared Eyewear and accessories designers, Sarah and Sebastian.


The Australian Designers selected to show at Paris Fashion Week 2016.

The designers chosen to be showcased are based on industry skill, strength of their current seasonal collection and potential success in the international market, representing the fines of Australian fashion. 

This will be the third Australian Designers Abroad showroom in Paris, being one of the most prestigious stages for ready-to-wear collections, attended by a variety of international retailers, media and industry players.

The Festival is proud to be a strong part of an ever-changing and creatively charged industry, whilst nurturing emerging and established designers. With the 2016 Festival being denoted as our most successful to date, we look forward to continuing our contribution and leverage this incredible international momentum our creative industries are experiencing.

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