It’s Fashion Week, but not as you know it. Today, IMG announced its Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia 2020 plans for Resort 2021, which feature a surprising twist: a consumer element. For the first time, MBFWA will debut an integrated consumer offering as part of the official MBFWA schedule, bringing tailored experiences for the fashion industry and broader public together via one dynamic program.

“After 25 years, we have a huge opportunity to define the future of Fashion Week in Australia,” said Natalie Xenita, Executive Director of IMG’s fashion events group, Asia-Pacific region. “The Resort ‘21 schedule will include special events to celebrate and commemorate the Australian fashion industry, and, at the same time, embrace a new format that reflects the cultural shifts impacting our global fashion industry today. Curated in collaboration with industry thought leaders, the new Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia will embrace the consumer and go beyond the runway to create immersive experiences rooted in the cultural conversation.”

To be held at Carriageworks and other select venues throughout Sydney from May 11 – 15, the new format evolves MBFWA’s former public-facing extension, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Weekend Edition, to bring industry experts and fashion’s most passionate consumers together in one cohesive celebration of Resort ’21 Collections during the core MBFWA event.

It’s a historic move for MBFWA. For the last 25 years, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia has existed as an industry-only event, hosting the bastions of media and design which later grew to include influencers and celebrities. In 2020, the public may now purchase tickets to select designer shows on the official 5-day schedule, attend seminars and special events, and access VIP packages via MBFWA: The Experience, bridging the long-standing gap between industry and consumer.

Celebrating its 25th anniversary, and in turn 25 years of spectacular Australian fashion (which has both birthed and nurtured some of Australia’s greatest design exports including Zimmermann, Dion Lee and Ellery), the new format is a timely reminder of the changing landscape of fashion. Since 1996, MBFWA has provided Australian designers with a platform to connect with a global audience of buyers, press and consumers. In 2020, MBFWA continues its reign as Australia’s only international fashion event, with about 1,600 industry professionals from over 20 countries descending upon Sydney to see the best Resort Ready-to-Wear collections.

“In its 25th year, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia will continue to promote Sydney as an internationally recognised destination for fashion and culture, while celebrating the talented individuals who have built an enduring and vibrant Australian fashion industry,” continued Xenita. It’s a sentiment backed by Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney, Stuart Ayres: “Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia is an event the global fashion industry looks to as a leader, and the backdrop of Sydney – Australia’s fashion capital – is the perfect fit. NSW’s fashion retail industry is worth $9.42 billion annually and we have so many great Australian designers who either started or developed their careers through Fashion Week in Sydney. This new direction is exciting because consumers will be an even bigger part of the event and industry picture.”

The MBFWA designer schedule will showcase a dynamic lineup of Australia’s established and emerging labels, including five headline shows to be held at Carriageworks each evening, plus other runway shows, presentations, trade showrooms, seminars, industry events and more.

GRAZIA is proudly the official Media Partner of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia for the fifth year running.