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Auckland To Host New Zealand Fashion Week

In announcing Auckland City Council's support for a Fashion Week Festival to be held in October, Councillor Victoria Carter, Chairperson of the committee responsible for economic development, said that the support being given by the Council was a result of nine months of discussion and consultation with the industry.

In June last year Councillor Carter hosted a forum to thank New Zealand fashion designers for putting New Zealand on the map at the Sydney Fashion Week and to discuss ways in which the Council could support the fashion industry in Auckland. This included research into the training and education needs of the industry and ways in which the City could facilitate the High Street environment as the high fashion precinct for New Zealand.

"The fashion and design sector is an industry with the potential to develop and increase employment," said Councillor Carter.

"Research estimates that currently the Auckland fashion industry generates around $100 million in export earnings with at least 1600 people directly employed," she said.

Councillor Carter said that the Mercedes Australian Fashion Week in Sydney in May is considered an essential component in Australia's apparel industry achieving multi million-dollar growth per annum.

Fashion and apparel are important export earners for New Zealand. According to Councillor Carter, exports totalled $220 million last year and ranks well against other products, such as wine, with the capacity to increase.

The Auckland event will be staged and promoted by Pieter Stewart Promotions. This company has specialised in fashion promotions for 15 years, including the co-ordination and production of the Corbans Fashion Collections, Wella Fashion Collections and the Wella Fashion Report.

Ms Stewart says the proposed October 2001 event was an acknowledgment of the increasing recognition New Zealand fashion designers have been receiving with the rest of the world, and that for Auckland City to be hosting such an exciting and positive event was great news for the industry.

"Fashion is a product in which New Zealand can clearly differentiate itself by emphasising the uniqueness of our environment. Fashion is an important currency in the global economy, just look at the worldwide distribution of magazines such as Vogue and Wallpaper," says Ms Stewart.

Councillor Carter said the intention would be to make Fashion Week an annual event on the Auckland calendar.

"The best thing Council can do is to create an environment that encourages high skill, high value industries such as our local fashion sector so that they become a 'shop front' for enhancing the image of New Zealand," she said.

A budget of $1.6 million has been set to cover the costs of staging the Fashion Week Festival, to be attended by 200 buyers and over 100 media representatives. Auckland City will contribute $40,000 with the festival organisers seeking sponsorship from those industries that will benefit directly and indirectly from the event.

Ends

For further information please contact:
„h Councillor Victoria Carter, tel: (09) 529 1121 or 025 377 018
„h Pieter Stewart, Pieter Stewart Promotions, tel: 025 342 907.


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