In 2020, the month of May was far different to our normal calendar in the fashion industry. In what would have been a month of late nights writing, early morning meetings, midday runway shows and a week of flitting around the city of Sydney – the home of Australian Fashion Week – in designer threads, was instead replaced with Zoom meetings and sweatpants. Not only did the global health crisis diminish the industry’s most anticipated event in a much needed bid to save lives, it in turn threatened the future of local fashion and designers.
Today, IMG announced the return of Australian Fashion Week in partnership with Afterpay, scheduled to take place from 31 May-4 June 2021. Carriageworks and other select venues throughout Sydney will house the presentations, where designers will unveil their Resort 2022 collections.
Recognising the tremendous challenges faced by Australian designers and the broader fashion industry due to the COVID-19 pandemic, IMG’s new partnership with Afterpay will support and champion Australian fashion’s future. Designer participation fees will be waived in 2021 and designers will now be invited to show on the official AAFW schedule. Industry delegates, inclusive of global media and stockists, will also have their AAFW registration and attendance fees waived in 2021.
“Over the past 25 years, Australian Fashion Week has established itself as one of the world’s most innovative fashion showcases, right here in Sydney. Now more than ever, we recognise the need to come together to ensure the Australian fashion industry will continue to thrive for decades to come,” said Natalie Xenita, Executive Director of IMG’s fashion events group, Asia-Pacific region.
“We are thrilled to partner with Afterpay in shaping this beloved event’s next chapter, and we are confident in a bright future ahead for Australian fashion. Together, IMG and Afterpay are proud to invest in Australian designers to ensure their continued economic success and celebrate the cultural power of Australian creative talent,” Xenita continued.
Nick Molnar, Co-Founder Afterpay noted, “Since our inception, Afterpay has had an unwavering commitment to helping Australian brands and designers prosper both in Australia and on the international stage. Our support of Australian Fashion Week, particularly at this time, is just one way we can ensure the sustainability and success of an industry of which we have grown up in.
We look forward to working with the team at IMG on how we can further evolve Australian Fashion Week, to ensure local designers, established as well as new and emerging talent, have every opportunity to prosper.”
As the pinnacle event on the Australian fashion calendar, Australian Fashion Week provides Australian designers with a global platform to connect with the world’s leading stockists and media. By introducing new technologies and fresh show formats, AAFW will marry live and digital activation environments to offer a dynamic experience in 2021. Additionally and following past formats, consumers will be able to access select shows and VIP packages via Afterpay Australian Fashion Week: The Experience. All events and programming will be planned and executed to the highest standard of caution and in accordance with all government and health official guidelines.
In addition to Afterpay and Destination NSW, AAFW is made possible through the support of City of Sydney, ghd hair, San Pellegrino, Tempus Two, Napoleon Perdis, Hunter Lab, GlamCorner and Disaronno.