The Australian Fashion Council congratulates the winners of the 2018 Australian Fashion Laureate Awards, which includes the Co-Chair of the AFC, Edwina McCann, and AFC Members Song for the Mute, Romance Was Born, Zimmermann and Albus Lumen!
Alvanon’s global survey highlights an unprecedented skills crisis in the fashion industry, with 62% of respondents struggling to fill skilled roles. The report data reveals a ‘war for talent’ across the supply chain, with big fashion retailers, brands, manufacturers and vendors, facing a shortage of workers with key, specialised skills… Do you agree?
The largest-ever international presentation of Victorian design will be showcased at Asia’s premier design event, Hong Kong Business of Design Week (BODW) this December 2018 and we, the Australian Fashion Council, are thrilled to be a part of it!
Women & Leadership Australia is administering a national initiative to support the development of female leaders across Australia’s fashion and beauty sector. The initiative is providing women with grants of between $3,000 and $8,000 to enable participation in a range of leadership development programs.
Applications are now open for the Standards Australia Young Leaders Program 2018/19! The program selects emerging industry and technical experts and provides them with an exciting opportunity to become involved in the national and international standardisation processes supporting Australian industry and government.
There’s a lot of buzz around the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) Review and if you run a business in Australia, you need to know about it! Whether you work with customers, businesses, provide services or sell goods, it's important to know your rights and obligations and how the consumer laws affect your business.
Sherman Centre for Culture and Ideas (SCCI) is a vibrant platform for the exchange of the most challenging and contemporary ideas on fashion and architecture.The first SCCI Fashion Hub takes place from 5 to 21 April 2018 — tickets and information available from www.scci.org.au.
The Australian Fashion Council has officially wrapped up its Designers Abroad London Showroom 2018, supported by The Woolmark Company, UK Department for International Trade (DIT), British Airways, Department for Foreign Affairs (DFAT) and AMP Capital.
On Saturday 17th February, the AFC and KITX held an intimate cocktail reception at Australia House in London to celebrate sustainability in fashion and the AFC Designers Abroad London Showroom.
The event was co-hosted by Kit Willow of KITX and renowned stylist Rebecca Corbin-Murray, along with AFC Board Director and Editor-in-Chief of Vogue Australia, Edwina McCann. The evening also featured special guests The Hon. Julie Bishop, Australian High Commissioner for the United Kingdom, Mr. Alexander Downer, and fashion designer & British Business Ambassador, Anya Hindmarch.
The evening featured an Australian inspired menu by Kiwi & Roo paired with a selection of Handpicked Wines, which included a Romance Was Born x Handpicked Rose collaboration. Guests caught a glimpse of the new collection by KITX in collaboration with The Woolmark Company, featuring fine Australian merino wool and displayed on Bonaveri biodegradable mannequins.
The evening also marked the opening of the AFC Designers Abroad Programme for London Fashion Week, supported by The Woolmark Company, UK Department for International Trade, Department for Foreign Affairs, AMP Capital and British Airways. The five day showroom at London Fashion Week was hosted at 180 The Strand from February 16 to 20 and featured Pared Eyewear, Manning Cartell, We Are Kindred and the 2016/17 International Woolmark Prize womenswear regional winner for Australia/New Zealand, Harman Grubiša.
The showroom was the seventh Australian Designers Abroad event, previously held in Paris and New York, attended by a variety of global retailers, media and industry players. Launched by the AFC in 2015, the initiative strives to build the profiles of talented Australian designers during international fashion weeks, cementing reputations and growing stockists aboard. Previous showrooms have been held in the fashion capitals of Paris and New York.
To find out more about the designers who were on the programme click the button below, and stay tuned for our editorial shot on the streets of London via our 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).
Melbourne Fashion Week (MFW) is inviting creative thinkers from all facets of the fashion industry to express their interest in being a part of the 2018 program. Each year MFW activates the City Of Melbourne with runways, exhibitions, showcases, pop up activations, and independent fashion related events.
In Review | AFC Finance & Business Plans Seminar
Words: Alexandra Briscoe
The Business Planning and Finance Seminar took place in July at the AMP Capital Towers overlooking a beautiful morning. With speakers Gabrielle Manning, Lizzie Renkert, Jim Softis and Alicia Kemp from AMP Capital facilitating the event, the knowledge and experience was well rounded and covered a lot of ground.
Gabrielle Manning of Manning Cartell shared with the audience the experience which comes from running a successful fashion business in Australia (and soon to launch in the US) for twelve years. Lizzie Renkert comes from the very different approach of an emerging business of three years in a very different retail climate. The two compared the differences between operating their businesses and their approach to business planning and financing in Australia and the massive change the internet and shopping online has made to running a fashion business. Financial consultant Jim Softsis of Crowe Horwarth gave the valuable outside perspective on fashion financing and his experience in working with Australian fashion businesses in an international financial consultancy firm.
Lizzie Renkert spoke about understanding the importance of experience - you can’t have enough of it. She and her sister, Georgie both worked different industries before starting their own label We Are Kindred. Renkert reminded the audience to remember that the biggest weakness is not acknowledging your own weaknesses and being too proud - or too unaware - to seek help from professionals.
Says Manning: “You can never have too much experience”. Running your own business is one of the biggest undertakings one will ever go through and it doesn’t get easier faster. It’s a full time job, round the clock career and having a business plan is essential. Jim Softsis advised what a financial consultant is looking for in a business, potential or otherwise. A business plan is the number one way to assess the best way to approach financing. Do you get a loan, an investor or do you self fund? Sitting down and dedicating the time to getting the planning right saves you time and money (and heartache) in the long run. The time old adage ‘measure twice, cut once’ applies to fashion in more way than one.
The three agree retailing has changed in the last decade. Traditional retailing is already a term used to refer to the of bricks-and-mortar retailing as the main delivery to customer method, and online sales are a disjointed, unconnected entity of the business. Traditional retail is becoming a marketing cost to many savvy business operators. Most people prefer to shop online, especially those of the under thirty age bracket, however the value of a face-to-face and bricks-and-mortar presence can’t be undervalued.
Manning spoke of how important retail locations have been for growth in the business and choosing the right location is everything. Getting the balance of foot traffic,demographic and the surrounding retailers. Manning Cartell has always understood the importance of being able to interact directly with their customers while We Are Kindred operates on a very different model. Predominantly an online label, they have only recently dipped their toe into the world of bricks-and-mortar retailing with a pop-up location. Renkert acknowledges they may not get the sales directly from the pop-up store to think it was a profitable location, but it has helped build brand loyalty, with their online sales soaring.
Knowing which method of retailing suits your business is part instinct and part planning. Jim Softsis advised instinct plays an important role of business planning, knowing your product and knowing your customer are the best ways to succeed and has seen first hand fashion businesses go under because the planning just wasn’t there to support the business. He points out that it’s much easier to get your plan right in the beginning then to try and go back and change everything later once the business is up and running. The same way it’s better to invest in a good pair of shoes you know will last you the distance, it’s better to get your system and plan right in the beginning. Invest now for payoff later.
Softsis reminds everyone before they leave: “Don’t forget why you got into fashion. If you think you have the right product and the right business model start getting out there and getting that advice to get you off the ground. Talk to everyone you can.”
TIPS: Invest now, reap rewards later! Investing in good systems from the beginning, whether that’s your distribution method or your computer operating system, take the time and money to get it right from the beginning.
Ask for advice in and out of the fashion industry. Financial consultants can offer invaluable advice to emerging designers and budding businesses, but so can other small business owners and the head pattern maker from a big brand. Always be on the lookout for ways to learn, and people to learn from.
Spend time in planning out your business plan. It may take months or even a year. There’s no right or wrong way or time to spend on your plan.
Getting the right team is as important as having a business plan. Knowing you can trust people to do it well and do it right is one of the most important parts of a business, and learning how to let go and delegate is essential.
BT Financial, along with the Australian Fashion Chamber, are pleased to announce the the finalists for the 2017 BT Emerging Designer Award as Kacey Devlin, We Are Kindred and Celeste Tesoreiro, with the winner to be announced at the BT Runway for Success Event on the 27th of April. All three finalists will showcase their collections alongside established Australian designers including Carla Zampatti, Dion Lee, Ginger & Smart, Bianca Spender, Manning Cartell, Camilla & Marc, Rachel Gilbert and Gary Bigeni.
2017 marks the fifth year for the BT Emerging Designer Awards with this year’s recipient following in the footsteps of previous winners such as Macgraw (2016), Emma Mulholland (2015), Michael Lo Sordo (2014) and Christopher Esber (2013).
The winner will receive a prize valued at over $70,000 including a cash grant and mentoring provided by the Australian Fashion Chamber. The prize includes:
- A $10,000 (including GST) cash grant from BT
- The services of a BT financial planner for two years
- Accounting and business advisory services for two years provided by Bentleys NSW
- Two return premium economy class flights to New York provided by Qantas Airways
- A one year subscription to new media content business, Flaunter
- Two mentoring sessions with two fashion industry icons provided by Australian Fashion Chamber
- A Jeroboam of Champagne Taittinger Brut Reserve & up to $4,500 of Champagne Taittinger products for the winner to use at their post awards events from Champagne Taittinger & McWilliam’s Wines
- TONI&GUY Australia will proudly sponsor your hairdressing needs including:
- access to their National Artistic Team for two major fashion events
- two look book or editorial shoots
- three months-worth of hairdressing at TONI&GUY’s Head Office
Meet the finalists:
Kacey Devlin was awarded the National Designer Award in late February 2017, after a near-win as a finalist the previous year, and now takes home a spot as a BT Emerging Fashion Designer Award finalist. Her brand Kacey Devlin launched in 2014 with her first collection 1: Undone, starting a theme for her work to follow. Wrapped in asymmetrical pieces, soft tailoring and pleating, the collection explores how abstract and conceptual ideas of fashion’s relationship with form. From her base in North Sydney, Devlin is a designer in a new wave of sustainably conscious designs using locally sourced fibres and a production process based in the area.
Established in 2014, sister duo Lizzie and Georgie Renkert bring a strong industry background to their young label We Are Kindred with a focus on a modern woman; unique, striking and comfortable. A bohemian approach to design brings forward soft shapes and memorable prints. We Are Kindred believe in an ethical approach to fashion and now, as under the ‘Seed The Change’ section of their website, the label plants one tree for every product sold to support agriculture dependant communities and offset global carbon emissions.
Celeste Tesoreiro, a unique combination of comfort and luxury, brings her unique approach to fashion and jewellery design. The fabrications of her collections all appear rich, well worn and hard-wearing; strongly inspired by the Australian aesthetic. Her core values drive her brand; handcrafted, sustainable, local, fair, minimal waste, vegan, gender equality and transparency. Since her Winter 2016 collection she has produced locally in Sydney, sourcing organic cotton and 100% Australian merino wool. After starting the label in 2014, she is now stocked in over 20 retailers in Australia, New Zealand and Japan.
The AFC will be taking a selection of designers to NYC during Resort season in June and for Paris S/S 2018 during the September 28 – October 5, 2017 period. At least one position will be allocated to an emerging designer. The AFC is proud to foster and encourage Australian design talent and to help our best designers enhance their exporting capabilities. To apply for either Paris or New York please fill out the application form (PDF or Word), specifying whether which season you're applying for (note you can only apply for one) and return to firstname.lastname@example.org by April 4, 2017.
The Australian Fashion Chamber’s Designers Abroad program was established in 2015 with the goal of promoting the Australian fashion industry by identifying exceptional fashion design talent and by assisting this talent in key international markets. The AFC’s objective is to expose designers to key international media and buyers for the purposes of growing their business globally. The AFC will provide advice, mentoring and financial support to sell their collection in a showroom space in Paris.
UTS Sydney based womenswear design graduate Panayota Theodore and RMIT Melbourne based menswear designer Vlad Kenevsky were each awarded $20,000 and a six month internship in the US or Europe as the joint winners of the AUSFF internship grant, to pursue their talent on an international scale.
"Panayota and Vlad both demonstrated a fresh and multi dimensional approach to fashion," said AUSFF co-founder Malcolm Carfrae. "Their submissions showed variety, innovation and both were excellent self marketers."
Judges present included AUSFF founder Malcolm Carfrae (Global Head of Communications, Public Relations and Media at Ralph Lauren); fashion stylist and icon Brana Wolf; Fashion consultant and former Vogue editor Nancy Pilcher; Editor of Harper's Bazaar, Kellie Hush; Fashion designer Dion Lee; blogger and stylist Romy Frydman;myTheresa.com's Buying Director, Justin O'Shea; Blogger, photographer and model Margaret Zhang; The Woolmark Company's Melissa Grace and Kara Hurry, Head of Communications, RM Williams.
The cocktail party to announce the winners was held at the Hotel Centennial, Woollahra, Sydney in partnership with The Woolmark Company. Also among present were: Edwina McCann, Christine Centenera, Alison Veness, Zac and Jordan Stenmark, Nicky and Simone Zimmermann, Kym Ellery, Camilla Freeman Topper and Marc Freeman and Stuart McCullough, CEO of Australian Wool Innovation, parent company of The Woolmark Company.
"Woolmark are pleased to continue the successful partnership with AUSFF, explained Stuart McCullough of The Woolmark Company. "Their objectives align with our own and we believe in supporting the future leaders of our creative industries and tapping into a vast network of Australian talent that is thriving across the globe."
The BT Emerging Designer Awards have officially opened for applications for 2016. This would be an exciting and career-propelling opportunity for any promising fashion design talent, especially those who aspire to raise their businesses to the next level.
Three fashion labels will be shortlisted as finalists for the coveted award and will have the opportunity to showcase their designs at BT Runway for Success alongside some of Australia's most iconic fashion designers.
Past winners include Emma Mulholland, Michael Lo Sordo and Christopher Esber.
The 2016 Prize has grown and now includes:
- A $10,000 cash grant from BT
- The services of a BT financial planner for two years
- Two return economy class flights to Los Angeles from Virgin Australia to further their fashion ambitions
- Backstage hair services for one major event and two look books, and editorial support for 12 months by Toni & Guy
- A one year subscription for full photo sharing and sample tracking services on new platform Flaunter
- Two mentoring sessions with two fashion industry icons provided by the Australian Fashion Chamber
Applications are open now and close on 31 January 2016. For more information and to apply follow this link: www.bt.com.au/