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Kiwi Designers Show Strong Hand In Sydney

Auckland, April 26, 2002 – New Zealand fashion will have its strongest presence ever at Mercedes Australian Fashion Week in Sydney, with 21 designers promoting their summer collections at an exhibition stand supported by Trade New Zealand.

A further two fashion houses, World and Zambesi, are staging individual collection shows at the fashion week, which is being held from May 6-9, 2002. Susan Scarf, one of the 21 designers represented on the stand, is also part of the L’Oreal ready-to-wear catwalk show at 11.30am on Tuesday May 7.

Trade New Zealand’s Melbourne based Trade Commissioner, Tui Te Hau, says the trade stand at the fashion week will create a strong New Zealand presence for designers selling and promoting their ranges in Australia.

A “one stop shop”, the stand in the MAFW exhibition hall will act as a base for networking, media events and the distribution of information to fashion week delegates. It ensures designers a presence at the event that may be too expensive for them to achieve on their own.

In its seventh year, MAFW attracts buyers from some of the world’s most prestigious stores and media from leading international magazines, as well as a large contingent of buyers and media from Australia and New Zealand, to view spring-summer fashion.

Held at Fox Studios in Sydney, the exhibition is a big attraction of MAFW, which hosts 45 collection shows this year. Entry to the shows is through the exhibition space and foot traffic last year included 950 exhibition delegates (buyers and trade visitors), 250 international delegates (buyers, media and industry visitors), 220 media (from Australia and New Zealand), 17,525 designer collection show guests and 1800 sponsor and VIP guests to collections and the exhibition.

International buyers confirmed this year are coming from Henri Bendels and Saks Fifth Avenue in the United States, Galeries La Fayette in France, Barneys Japan and Selfridges, Browns and Marks & Spencer in the UK. Media from Wallpaper, Spruce, Nylon, GQ and US, Singapore and Hong Kong Elle magazines are also attending.

“MAFW is the premier high fashion event in Australia catering for buyers and media in Australia and beyond,” Ms Te Hau says. “The New Zealand stand will be aimed at retailers, buyers and media from Australia, South East Asia, Europe and the United States.”

Australia is the main export market for New Zealand fashion designers and manufacturers. Total apparel and footwear exports from New Zealand were $260 million for the year ended December 2001, of which $192 million (or 74%) went to Australia.

“Australia is an excellent first export market for New Zealand designers, given its proximity and similar style and business culture to New Zealand,” Ms Te Hau says. “This exhibition stand allows new designers to introduce their ranges to the Australian market, without the pressure and cost associated with a catwalk show.”

Trade New Zealand hosted a stand at last year’s MAFW exhibition that was well received, Ms Te Hau says. Six designers were promoted and they also staged catwalk shows.

After meeting with designers interested in attending MAFW this year, Trade New Zealand agreed to supply partial funding for a stand promoting a wider range of interests.

“The designers saw the advantage in leveraging off a combined presence and supporting companies participating for the first time,” Ms Te Hau says.

The 27 square metre New Zealand stand will be open from 9am-7.30pm from Monday 6 to Thursday 9 May, 2002 and will be manned by Trade New Zealand staff, including Ms Te Hau. Staff will present information about the designers and arrange for direct contact where required.

The 21 designers participating include:

TS Designs (Ritual and Lesley Herbert labels) - Auckland
DNA Clothing - Auckland
Robyn Mathieson- Wellington
Sabatini - Auckland
Susan Scarf - Auckland
Starfish - Wellington
Hailwood - Auckland
Tango - Christchurch
LUNA clothing - Auckland
Mild Red - Dunedin
Saben - Auckland
Robin Jones Clothing - Auckland
Tooling Around Holdings Ltd - Auckland
Hart Manufacturing (Vamp and VSSP, Vamp is Vertice in Australia) - Auckland
Saga - Auckland
Lois Phin (Formerly Galactic) - Wellington
AnnahS – Hamilton
Insidious Fix - Auckland
Carlson Ltd - Dunedin
Billy Zamoisky - Wellington
Zana Feuchs – Wellington

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