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Fashion Week Worth $23.2 Million To NZ Economy

Air New Zealand Fashion Week Worth $23.2 Million To NZ Economy

New research reinforces the economic value of the icon fashion event

New research shows last year’s Air New Zealand Fashion Week generated $23.2 million for the New Zealand economy.

Commissioned by event organisers, the study into the economic impact of Air New Zealand Fashion Week looked at designers’ sales resulting from the event, as well as downstream spending in the Auckland and New Zealand economies including spending by visiting international buyers and media.

The research found last year’s Air New Zealand Fashion Week to be worth an estimated $23.2 million to the New Zealand economy in terms of total output generated, and an estimated $19.2 million in the Auckland economy. Designers’ expected incremental foreign exchange earnings resulting from the event are estimated to be in excess of $9.5 million.

International buyers and media were estimated to spend an average of $2,600 each while in Auckland on food and beverage, transport and accommodation, in addition to expenditure funded by the event organiser. A further $500 per person on average was spent by international media and buyers in other regions.

More than half the 46 designers who participated in last year’s Air New Zealand Fashion Week provided information for the study. This represents a high proportion of those designers who are believed to have achieved a significant direct benefit from the event.

Additional information was sourced from international buyers and media, major sponsors, local retailers and other organisations involved in the event including Fashion Industry New Zealand and New Zealand Trade and Enterprise.

Undertaken by an independent research firm, Horwath Asia Pacific Limited, the study involved the collation of a large amount of commercially sensitive information which remains confidential to the company undertaking the research.

Primarily an export-focused trade show for international and domestic buyers and media within the fashion industry, last year’s Air New Zealand Fashion Week involved 46 designers, 50 labels, nearly 700 registered delegates and approximately 7,000 guests attending shows.

Approximately 190 registered buyers attended including 120 international buyers from 10 countries and 70 domestic buyers; and approximately 110 registered media attended including 60 international media from 11 countries and 50 domestic media.

The sales derived by the designers involved as a result of the event, particularly the international sales, are the major contributor to the event’s economic impact on the Auckland and New Zealand economies.

The international and domestic buyers and media attending also contributed to the Auckland and New Zealand economies via expenditure on accommodation, food, beverage, transport, retail purchases etc.

ANZFW has grown considerably in the three years since its inception, from 43 labels,160 buyers from 5 countries and 96 media from 7 countries in 2001, to 46 labels, 190 buyers from 11 countries and 110 media from 10 countries in 2003. The number of international delegates has grown by about 30% since 2001, with steady growth of about 15% from both buyers and media.

Domestic and international media coverage has also grown in the three years of the event from $NZ 1.8 million in 2001 to more than $NZ 12.13 million in 2003, which equals or exceeds most major news and international sporting events of the same calibre in New Zealand.

Comments from designers (anonymous) about Air New Zealand Fashion Week collated as part of the research:

Impact on their business:

▪ Increase in brand profile and public understanding of the fashion industry and what we do

▪ Great exposure for our brand. Has created a showcase for our fashion. Being taken seriously by the general business community

▪ Global brand profile; celebrities seeing our product; stronger calibre of employees attracted to business

▪ Has allowed me to re-strategise the supply of my product direct to retailers and open my first retail store

▪ Due to company sales increasing, media profile is increasing; this has resulted in hiring new staff and further business growth

▪ I grew my business by going overseas straight after NZ Fashion Week; the fact that I had a great “lookbook” from the catwalk proved my worth and I gained excellent new buyers as a result.

Impact on the New Zealand fashion industry:

• Has made NZ designers ‘lift their game’. The industry knows it has to ‘punch above its weight’

• Has lifted the profile of our New Zealand designers and our industry as a whole

• The event has turned the NZ fashion industry around and given it immense credibility

• The event has been fantastic in consolidating NZ fashion and taking it to the world in a better way; it has created overseas exposure for NZ designers that otherwise wouldn’t occur

▪ Attracts international buyers and media here who would not usually visit NZ. Overseas buyers are now alert to the NZ fashion scene

• Increased input from overseas buyers to NZ labels, including helping New Zealanders understand what is required of labels in other markets

• The only way for most designers to showcase their designs to the rest of the world. Without this event, NZ designers showing to a world market become very inconsequential and diluted as they try to show in other countries’ fashion weeks

• A very cost effective way for designers to get to the market and be seen by buyers

• Unity between NZ designers that were previously never interested; support network

▪ Spin-off has been positive for self-perception / confidence (of the industry)

• Educating New Zealanders that fashion ‘downunder’ is ‘cool’

• The organiser has a real vision – NZ can only benefit as a result

• NZFW personnel are building great contacts internationally

▪ It is good for the industry to concentrate its attention on an annual event – a time for selling, promoting, networking and learning

▪ The event has raised the profile of the NZ manufacturing sector, and raised the “fashion-ability” of NZ brands, including in new markets not previously exposed to NZ”

▪ Has put NZ designers “on the map”, bringing a lot of deserved attention and focus to NZ; the event organiser and team have done an outstanding job and deserve a lot of credit; we would never be able to receive such exposure in international markets without an event like this

Editor’s note:

Latest figures show New Zealand’s total apparel exports for the year to June 2004 were $97.91million (up from $88.58 million for the year to June 2003), while total apparel and textile exports to the world in the same period totaled $168.72 million ($154.43 million 2003).

This represents a 10.5% increase in apparel exports and a 9.25% increase in total apparel and textile exports over the last year. This is a remarkable result when compared to the 2% growth in overall New Zealand exports for the past year. (Total New Zealand exports for the year to June 2003 were $29.291 billion and for the year to June 2004 were $29.876 billion.)

Australia is New Zealand’s key market for apparel exports, taking 70% of our total apparel exports to the world. Apparel exports to Australia for the year to June 2004 totaled $69.51million, up from $66.15 million in 2003. This represents a 5% increase in apparel exports.

Source New Zealand Trade and Enterprise.

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