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:: Spotlight :: Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia 2017

By: Carmine Pascuzzi

IMG has opened applications for Project NextGen, a program to support and mentor emerging Australian designers. The program has helped discover and launch the careers of designers such as Kate Sylvester, Gorman, sass and bide, and Akira at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia since 1996.

Participating designers will be selected by a panel of established industry experts and the program will culminate in an official invitation for up to six talented designers to show at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia as part of the NextGen runway show in May 2017 in front of an audience of local and international media and buyers.

The panel includes Australian Fashion Laureate recipient Nancy Pilcher, Melissa Grace (Woolmark), Eva Galambos (Director & Buyer Parlour X), Maddison McKay (editor-in-chief, Oyster), Alison Veness (editor-in-chief, 10 Magazine), Ruth Gruca (Fashion Director, MADE), Anna McLeod (Director, Marketing & Industry Relations, IMG), Daniel Bracken (Chief Merchandise & Customer Officer, Deputy CEO, Myer) and Kelly Elkin (Clean Cut).

The designers selected for Project NextGen will receive mentoring, industry networking opportunities, exposure to MBFWA attending buyers, and invaluable marketing, publicity, digital and social media support to reach a global audience of millions.

The 2017 Project NextGen designers will be announced in February 2017.

For Project NextGen Application enquiries visit here

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia occurs from May 14-19, 2017

Follow us at: @FashionWeekAus #MBFWA


**Update as at March 10, 2017**

IMG has announced the launch of “The Suites”, a new onsite showroom offering at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia, which takes place 14-19 May 2017 at Carriageworks, Sydney. For the first time, designers from Australia and around the world will have the opportunity to showcase their collections in this new format, which complements an exciting schedule of runway shows and presentations and offers designers a new way to engage one-on-one meetings with editors and buyers onsite.

“Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia welcomes designers from around the world who are looking to grow their businesses in Australia and beyond,” said Catherine Bennett, SVP and Managing Director, IMG Fashion Events & Properties. “The Suites concept provides business opportunities beyond the runway, offering our designers exclusive time with industry professionals who can help them sell and promote their brands globally.”

Participation in The Suites will be by invitation only, featuring designers showing on the official Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia Schedule as well as some who are not.

“The commercial/wholesale suites at MBFWA is a tool I believe will have a significant positive impact on the continuing fiscal success of the Australian fashion industry,” said Eva Galambos, Director & Founder of established Australian boutique Parlour X. “The creation of readily available, onsite access to the collections is vital to engaging local, but moreover international, buyers with the collections from Australia’s renowned and emerging designers. I look forward to visiting The Suites in May and to our industry benefitting from the enterprise this season.”

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia is proudly supported by Strategic Partner Destination NSW, the NSW Government’s tourism and major events agency.

Destination NSW Chief Executive Officer Sandra Chipchase welcomed the announcement and said, “The introduction of The Suites to this year’s Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia is a fantastic development for the industry and provides greater incentive for international buyers and media to travel to Sydney and engage with fashion’s established and rising stars.”

The Suites multi-label showroom will present a diverse and strong line up of Resort ready-to-wear, accessories and footwear from a portfolio of Australia’s most premium designers. The line-up will be announced alongside the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia schedule on Wednesday, 29 March 2017.

For further information on this season’s MBFWA, visit here


**Update as at April 13, 2017**

IMG recently announced the preliminary international buyers and media heading to Sydney for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia, taking place 14 – 19 May, 2017 at Carriageworks.

Last year’s strategic repositioning of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia made it the first centralised event to be focused exclusively on Resort collections, placing it at the beginning of the global sales window. As a result, the event saw a 75% uplift in international buyer attendance, providing lucrative new opportunities for showcasing designers. It also saw a 10.75% uplift in international media attendance, resulting in increased global media coverage of designers and their shows.

This year’s event will see buyers, journalists and photographers from the world’s most influential retailers and publications attend shows throughout the week and also for the first time engage in one-on-one meetings with designers at The Suites, IMG’s onsite designer showrooms—a new initiative for this season.

Key representatives attending include:

Altayer, Eda Kuloglu, Senior VP Merchandising
Altayer, Hayley McGregor, Senior Buyer
Bergdorf Goodman, Mimi Fukuyoshi, VP/DMM Contemporary, Swim, Lingerie & Coats
Browns Fashion, Jennifer Bishop, Womenswear Buyer RTW
Club 21, Lilian Kwok, Brand Manager
Club 21, Victor Michael, Assistant Manager
Electric Sekki, Zoey Chan, Senior Brand Manager
Farfetch, Emma Pull, Buyer
Harvey Nichols, Rachel Cooper, Junior Buyer
Isetan, Ally Lai, Senior Buyer
Lambert and Associates, Christine Kitching, Senior Market Manager
Lane Crawford, Baldeep Riyat, Assistant Buyer
Lane Crawford, Rex Lu, Menswear Buyer
MATCHESFASHION .COM, Chelsea Power, Studio Buyer
Moda Operandi, Chelsea Persov, Buyer Contemporary RTW and Swim
Moda Operandi, Lisa Ruffle, Buyer
Net-A-Porter, Lisa Aiken, Retail Fashion Director
Saks Fifth Avenue, Anna Kigel, Senior Womenswear Contemporary Buyer
Saks Fifth Avenue, Cleo Davis Urman, Contemporary Fashion Director
Selfridges, Perrie Reynolds, Buyer
Shopbop, Jenny Fuchs, Buyer
Shopbop, Kate Johanson, Market Editor
Style. com, Yasmin Sewell, Fashion Director

Business of Fashion, Sonny Vandevelde, Photographer
Dazed, Ashleigh Kane, Arts & Culture Editor
ELLE .COM, Nikki Ogunnaike, Senior Fashion Editor
Fashion Quarterly, Sally Ann Mullins, Managing Editor
Fashionista, Alyssa Vingan Klein, Editor-in-Chief
InStyle US, Laura Brown, Editor-in-Chief
Interview, Emma Brown, Senior Online Editor
Le21ème + W Magazine, Adam Katz Sinding, Blog Founder & Photographer
New York Times, Lee Oliviera, Fashion Contributor & Photographer
VOGUE US, Steff Yotka, Fashion News & Emerging Platforms Editor
VOGUE Paris, Sandra Semburg, Photographer

The current MBFWA Official Preliminary Schedule can be viewed here


**Update as at April 10, 2017**

Sydney fashion designer Dion Lee has been named the ‘Mercedes-Benz Presents’ designer for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia in 2017 and
will present the coveted lead show to kick off Australia’s largest industry based fashion event. The ‘Mercedes-Benz Presents Dion Lee’ event on Sunday, May 14 will feature the Resort collection for a designer regarded by many as one of the most innovative talents in the fashion world.

Lee’s gala runway show will kick off a packed runway schedule featuring some of Australia’s most notable fashion talents presenting their own resort wear collections for the coming season.

Now based in New York, Lee has a long history with Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia, having made his debut at the event in 2009 and presenting shows in 2014 and 2016. In being named the keynote designer he joins a distinguished alumni that includes Toni Maticeski, who was the ‘Mercedes Benz Presents’ designer in 2016, plus Kym Ellery (2015) and Carla Zampatti (2014).

Lee will also enjoy an ambassadorial role with Mercedes-Benz Australia as a Friend of the Brand. “It’s great that Mercedes-Benz Australia has been able to support one designer each year in a show that really does help to define a designer’s vision and amplify that globally,” he said.

Mercedes-Benz Australia/Pacific CEO and Managing Director Horst von Sanden said he is excited that Dion Lee will become the latest to join an esteemed group of Australian fashion designers to have been recognised by the company. “Mercedes-Benz has stood behind the Australian fashion industry for over two decades and is proud to support both the best established and up-and-coming designers in Australia and around the world,” he said. “Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week is Australia’s pre-eminent fashion program, and fashion in Australia is synonymous with Mercedes-Benz. We’re delighted that Dion Lee has agreed to be our ‘Presents’ designer this year.”

Mercedes-Benz supports fashion events globally, lending its name to over 50 events during the year in more than 30 countries. Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia kicks off on May 14 at Sydney’s Carriageworks and continues until May 19.

For more information, visit