Australian Designers Abroad Goes to London Fashion Week



The Australian Fashion Council (AFC), together with partners UK Department for International Trade (DIT) and British Airways, are proud to announce Manning Cartell, Pared Eyewear, We are Kindred and the 2016/17 International Woolmark Prize womenswear regional winner for Australia/New Zealand, Harman Grubiša, as the four successful fashion labels to join the AFC London Designers Abroad Showroom 2018, supported by The Woolmark Company and the Australian Government.


Securing a highly sought-after place on the British Fashion Council programme, the designers will meet buyers, mentors, leading gurus in the world of fashion and ordinarily inaccessible contacts and influencers, all to aid their expansion into the attractive UK market.

“Designers Abroad is now a well-established programme and it’s exciting to work with the British Fashion Council to take it to London where there is such a wonderful connection between our countries.” Edwina McCann, Board Director of the Australian Fashion Council and Editor in Chief of Vogue Australia

This will be the seventh Australian Designers Abroad event, an international showroom, attended by a variety of global retailers, media and industry players. Launched by the AFC in 2015, this initiative strives to build the profiles of talented Australian designers during international fashion weeks, cementing reputations and growing stockists aboard.

In the lead-up to the event, the AFC, The Woolmark Company and DIT will work collaboratively with the designers ensuring that they are well prepared to meet the demands of the global fashion marketplace. Designers will also be offered sales, marketing and media support as part of the event, to expand their respective businesses.

“It’s fantastic to see so many successful Australian designers and retail businesses looking to the UK for global opportunities. It was a very strong field of entries and I’d like to congratulate the five winners of the Designer Abroad London Programme. All show great promise for successful UK expansion and I’m excited to see the progress they make in the future. I’d also like to encourage all businesses who submitted an application to pursue their plans for global growth with our DIT team. Our team of advisors assisted 127 Australian and New Zealand companies expand to the UK in 2016/17, including fashion retailers Mon Purse and Grace Loves Lace.” Michael Ward, British Consul-General to NSW and Director-General, UK Department for International Trade, Australasia

London is a top destination for Australian fashion designers and retailers - over 40% of all money in the city is spent on retail, over £64 billion a year. This strong cohort of Australian designers will be able to take full advantage of the Designer Abroad London Programme to gain insights into building their global brand and accessing this lucrative market.

The designers will fly to London in February courtesy of British Airways, the Designer Abroad London Programme’s Official Airline partner. The Showroom will be centrally located at 180 The Strand during London Fall 2018 Fashion Week from February 16th to 20th.

“British Airways is thrilled to be the official airline partner for this special initiative with the Department for International Trade and the Australian Fashion Council. It provides aspiring Australian talent with the exciting opportunity to showcase their designs on the ultimate, global stage at London Fashion Week. As an airline, we have been flying to Australia for over 80 years, and we operate a daily service between Sydney and London Heathrow. We are always proud to be involved in opportunities to share talent between these two extraordinary countries.” Nicole Backo, British Airways’ Regional General Manager, South West Pacific

Other partners include Australian wine label Handpicked Wine who will provide a selection of premium wines at the opening night. Further details to be announced shortly.



To find out more about the designers on the programme, refer to bio pack and press release below, and stay up to date with the first steps of their global expansion beginning at London Fashion Week on Instagram @AusDesignersAbroad.

Designers Abroad is supported by the Australian Government through the Australian Cultural Diplomacy Grant Program of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).

About the UK Department for International Trade

The UK’s Department for International Trade (DIT) has overall responsibility for promoting UK trade across the world and attracting foreign investment to our economy. We are a specialised government body with responsibility for negotiating international trade policy, supporting business, as well as delivering an outward-looking trade diplomacy strategy.

About The Woolmark Company

The Woolmark Company is the global authority on wool. Through their extensive network of relationships spanning the international textile and fashion industries, they highlight Australian wool’s position as the ultimate natural fibre and premier ingredient in luxury apparel.