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The Business Of Fashion

14th April 2008

The Business Of Fashion

With a popularity comparative to the levels of interest shown in our national game, the success of Air New Zealand Fashion Week highlights the growing interest from Kiwis in the New Zealand fashion industry and its most renowned event.

Now in its eighth year Air New Zealand Fashion Week has established itself as one of the country’s best known and financially viable brands – generating $50million in media coverage for the year to date, more than twice that of previous years and proof of its status as a key event on the New Zealand calendar.

One of the largest privately run events in the country, Air New Zealand Fashion Week provides a key opportunity for designers to showcase their talents on an international stage, with the ultimate aim to export their designs overseas.

Director of Impact PR - the PR agency responsible for the 2007 event – Mark Devlin, says Air New Zealand Fashion Week has become an institution and has established itself as a serious business.

“No event on the New Zealand calendar other than rugby generates as much interest as Air New Zealand Fashion Week,” he says. “It creates style, attracts media and buyers from far and wide and gets people excited.

The trade show event which runs in the days prior to the public event is of course all about assisting designers to make offshore connections with buyers and the media.

Last year Air New Zealand Fashion Week funded travel and accommodation for over 60 key buyers and more than 20 international media including Paper, Elle, Taiwan Vogue, Dazed and Confused and Collezioni.

Add that to the total number of media who attended the event, some 200 both national and international and you start to see the scale and respect that media have for this world-class event. Air New Zealand Fashion Week creates an opportunity for designers to make serious connections,” says Devlin.

“There is no other support for designers in New Zealand like it. They know what they are doing and they look forward to the event because they know Air New Zealand Fashion Week is their only real way to market to the world and New Zealand in one event.”

As more and more members of the public clamoured for tickets to the trade shows, Air New Zealand Fashion Week saw the opportunity to create a unique event solely for the public with the launch of Air NZ Fashion Week 4 U – rebranded as Air New Zealand Fashion Weekend for 2008.

Air New Zealand Fashion 4 U began as part of the 2006 Air New Zealand Fashion Week event as a way of making the event accessible to all fashion-loving members of the public.

Due to the popularity of the previous year’s event, the 2007 Air New Zealand Fashion Week 4 U was expanded to a two day event, where over 10,000 people were treated to an eclectic mix of shopping, music, art, fashion and design.

Brand Manager for Air New Zealand Fashion Week, Myken Stewart, says she created Air New Zealand Fashion Week 4 U in response to huge public demand for access to the Fashion Week event.

“Air New Zealand Fashion Week 4 U is a product of the success of the Fashion Week event and its growth from a trade event to something the whole country can enjoy and be a part of,” says Stewart.

“People come to Air New Zealand Fashion Week 4 U from all over New Zealand, highlighting its status as a national event.

It’s the event of all events for anyone who loves fashion, shopping, music, art and design and is renowned as the ultimate place for members of the public to indulge their inner fashion diva.”

Prior to each event, Stewart and her team travel around the globe visiting key buyers and fashion industry representatives to showcase Air New Zealand Fashion Week. These trips provide an insight to current trends and demands and the direction of the industry, says Stewart.

“Being aware of what’s happening on the international stage is essential to the success of Air New Zealand Fashion Week,” says Stewart.

“Creating a dialogue between buyers and industry representatives both locally and abroad is a key goal for us leading up to the event.”

Fashion icon Trelise Cooper is frank about the impact Air New Zealand Fashion Week has had on the local and international success of her brand.

“Apart from the late nights, tears, laughter and chaos, Air New Zealand Fashion Week presents an international sales and marketing opportunity to showcase my winter collection to some of the most discerning and influential fashionistas on the planet,” she says.

“Air New Zealand Fashion Week has without doubt played a key role in helping me to grow from a high profile local label into an export-led aspirational international brand.”

Along with these Air New Zealand Fashion Week designer success stories, the event has also created a forum for up and coming designers. Previously unable to afford to visit off shore markets, new designers now have the markets come to them as they take part in Air New Zealand Fashion Week.

Air New Zealand Fashion Week is set to take place from Tuesday 16thSeptember, to Friday 19th September. Air New Zealand Fashion Weekend will open its doors to the public on Saturday 20th September and Sunday 21st September.

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