Last week, the Australian Fashion Chamber opened its four-day Australian Designers Abroad Showroom in Paris, showcasing seven of Australia’s finest fashion designers to international media and buyers. Hosted as part of the city’s Fall 16 Ready-To-Wear Fashion Week, the Showroom was open from 6 – 9 March, 2016.
The Showroom includes a mix of established and emerging Australian fashion talent, namely: Bianca Spender, Christopher Esber, Ginger & Smart, Rebecca Vallance, Romance Was Born, Tome and STRATEAS.CARLUCCI. Representing the diverse nature of Australian fashion talent, the designers were chosen based on their industry skill, strength of their current seasonal collection and potential success in the international market.
“Year on year, the Australian Designer Abroad Showroom continues to gain momentum, with an incredible pool of talented designers again showcasing their work. The Australian Fashion Chamber is proud to project a positive and contemporary image of Australia in the fashion capital of the world and we feel strongly this opportunity has the potential to expand their businesses globally,” said Australian Fashion Chamber Chair Edwina McCann.
The launch of the showroom was celebrated with a Saturday evening (5 March 2016) cocktail party, attended by the who’s who of Australian and international fashion. Styled by Mikey Ayoubi, seven models graced the Showroom dressed in a key look from each designer, showcasing Australia’s leading creative talents to the guests. Guests sipped on prestigious Janz sparkling wine, the purest water from Cape Grim in Tasmania and Nant whiskey and listened to Jonny Seymour and Paul Mac of Stereogamous.
Attendance ranged from the established stalwarts of the industry such as fashion writer Tony Glenville, fashion news director Mark Holgate from US Vogue, and to the new industry titans like Gabriele Hackworthy from Net A Porter, Fiona Young from Chanel and costume designer Alice Babage, Digital Influencers Zanita Whittington, Margaret Zhang and Amanda Shadforth of Oracle Fox also joined. Australian designers Toni Matichevski and Akira Igosawa came to support their fellow designers.
The Australian Designers Abroad Showroom has received the support of the Australian government through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Cultural Diplomacy Program. During the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Australian Fashion Chamber and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Minister for Foreign Affairs the Honorable Julie Bishop described the opportunities provided by the showroom to be “unlimited.”
AMP Capital Shopping Centres’ Head of Marketing, Belinda Daly, said “AMP Capital Shopping Centres is very proud to support the Australian fashion industry through our work with the AFC, among other initiatives. The Designers Abroad program enables us to provide a platform for talented local designers to grow their brands and find success in overseas markets.”
The Australian Designers Abroad initiative serves to highlight talented Australian designers in key international markets, and support Australian designers to grow their businesses globally. This showroom is the third Australian Designers Abroad event in Paris, specifically selected as the city attracts a wide variety of international retailers, media and key industry players.