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The NZ Brand Dressed for Success

Media release September 3rd 2007

Air New Zealand Fashion Week – The NZ Brand Dressed for Success

Over 200 models, 10,000 glasses of champagne, 60 designers, 90 hairdressers and four days of fashion-fuelled success – the stage is set for Air New Zealand Fashion Week to don its best attire and kick start its seventh year as one of the country’s strongest and most elite brands.

Worth an estimated over $23 million to the New Zealand economy and over $19 million to the Auckland economy, Air New Zealand Fashion Week has become a dominant and recognisable brand both locally and across the globe, which is well supported by the industry and sponsors.

Domestic and international media coverage has grown significantly since the inception of Air New Zealand Fashion Week in 2001. In the seven years that Air New Zealand Fashion Week has been happening its annual coverage has gone from $NZ 1.8 million in 2001 to over $NZ 20 million in 2006. This figure is proof that Air New Zealand Fashion Week continues its insurgence as a media brand to be reckoned with.

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.

“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,” she says.

Elisabeth Findlay, designer for Zambesi, says participating in Air New Zealand Fashion Week gives credibility to New Zealand fashion as a serious industry both locally and abroad.

According to Elisabeth the benefits of showing at Air New Zealand Fashion Week are plentiful. “The continued media coverage nationally and internationally of the brand; the provision of collateral in video and look books and the opportunity to visually articulate the vision and attitude of the Zambesi collection are all major benefits of participating in Air New Zealand Fashion Week,” she says.

According to Air New Zealand Fashion Week Managing Director Pieter Stewart, Air New Zealand Fashion Week has come to stand for many things.

“It’s a great forum for New Zealand designers, an excellent opportunity for the industry to work together, a strong source of employment and a forum for creative people to cluster around other creative people, “she says.

It hasn’t all been plain sailing however, says Pieter. “A lot of time, energy, money, blood sweat and tears have gone into getting here and it doesn’t happen on its own. People have had the vision, found their niche, taken the risk and worked incredibly hard to get here.”

“Air New Zealand Fashion Week encourages investment in the sector and other creative sectors and generates substantial and ongoing returns,” says Pieter. “It has significantly raised the profile of the fashion industry and has created many off-shoot industries developed through Air New Zealand Fashion Week itself. This extends to the creation of fashion-focused media that promote the industry year-round.”

In 1999, there was no longer a forum to promote the fashion industry in New Zealand after the demise of television programmes such as Wella Fashion Report (produced by Pieter) and the Smokefree Awards. Four New Zealand designers had just shown in London for the first time and had begun the real process of putting New Zealand fashion on the world stage. Designers mooted that New Zealand should have its own fashion week.

Through her experience in the industry, Pieter decided to pull a fashion week together – and reaction and traction gained by the industry outstripped all expectations.

According to Pieter it took over two years from when the idea was first mooted in August 1999, to being able to stage the first event.

“There was a lot involved, including lobbying Trade New Zealand, doing a scoping report, writing proposals, establishing venues and approaching and confirming sponsors,” she says.

The fact that there was no other fashion week already present in New Zealand meant there was a captive audience in terms of promoting the event, says Pieter. However for this to happen it was essential to establish a sustainable business, prove themselves as facilitators for the industry, and deliver to the industry both nationally and internationally.

“When I began this process, I didn’t think about finding a niche, or building a brand – but both are a consequence of the decision I made over seven years ago, with the vision to begin fashion week in New Zealand,” says Pieter.

Today, Air New Zealand Fashion Week consists of up to 60 labels showing their ranges in approximately 36 shows over a period of four days. There are also up to 50 exhibition stands exhibiting collections and accessories, as well as designer showrooms where buyers and media can make appointments to view ranges.

Pieter stresses the importance of annual research trips taken to international markets to identify buyers and media and to entice them to attend Air New Zealand Fashion Week. She has also run export and show ready seminars and plans are underway for a designers’ seminar during Air New Zealand Fashion Week, to make the most of the experience and advice some of our key international guests can offer.

New Zealand’s culture and creative influences give Air New Zealand Fashion Week its point of difference, says Pieter.

“This is slowly developing and will develop even further over the years in the fashion created. It’s what the buyers and media want and love and we promote this constantly in overseas markets,” she says.

Local and international sales accumulated by designers showing at Air New Zealand Fashion Week have key significance to the economic impact of the event. International and domestic buyers and media attending Air New Zealand Fashion Week also contribute to the Auckland and New Zealand economy through expenditure towards accommodation, food, beverage, transport, retail purchases and general leisure pursuits.

New to Air New Zealand Fashion Week is a second Air New Zealand Fashion Week 4 U public day. Scheduled for Friday September 21st and Saturday September 22nd, Air New Zealand Fashion Week 4 U is the ultimate place for members of the public to indulge their inner fashion diva.

“Air New Zealand Fashion Week 4 U will offer zones where you can bring your girlfriend or boyfriend and just go wild!” says Myken Stewart, Brand Manager for Air New Zealand Fashion Week.

These zones include a Beauty Zone populated by exclusive makeup brands and a Rumpus Room which will offer interactive activities such as make-your-own Havianas and a Nova Model site with catwalk tips and scouting for new models.

Air New Zealand Fashion Week 4 U 2007 will also offer 40 In-Season shows for designers not showing at Air New Zealand Fashion Week. Big names rumoured to be showing include Trelise Cooper Kids, Sabine and Taylor.

According to Myken, Air New Zealand Fashion Week is unique from other international shows in its preparedness to look after all those involved – from media to designers to the public.

Air New Zealand Fashion Week survives almost entirely on sponsorship and Myken says the needs of their wide variety of sponsors are met by regular meetings, both individually and in groups.

Myken believes the potential for Air New Zealand Fashion Week sponsors is endless. “I want Air New Zealand Fashion Week sponsors to be involved not just for the event – the event is like the climax, there is much more going on!” she says.

Sponsorship of Air New Zealand Fashion Week varies from Naming Rights, to Elite to Support, to Supplier – structured in bands reflecting financial contribution.

As sponsor of Air New Zealand Fashion Week since its inception in 2001, Glen Candy, Sponsorship Manager for Pernod Ricard New Zealand, says Deutz has been closely aligned with the fashion industry for many years.

“As New Zealand's premier Methode Traditionelle, Deutz makes an excellent fit with the prestige, celebration and excitement which are such a part of Air New Zealand Fashion Week,” says Glen.

In order to make the most of their sponsorship, Deutz leverage all opportunities to their fullest advantage.

“It is an opportunity to really add to the experience enjoyed by fashion fans by aligning Deutz with New Zealand's premier fashion event,” says Glen.

“Bar theming, presence at official openings and shows, the inclusion of the Deutz Fashion Design Ambassador show on the official event schedule, public relations and working with sponsored designers are all parts of our leverage programme,” says Glen.

The ‘Satellite’ restaurant, Fashion Plate will resume its place as the hottest restaurant in town for the duration of Air New Zealand Fashion Week. The official restaurant of Air New Zealand Fashion Week, Fashion Plate seats up to 140 patrons and will offer live music every night.

Members of the public will be able to book their table at Fashion Plate during Air New Zealand Fashion Week from August through Alongside Fashion Plate restaurant will be The Cutting Room – a stylish bar with the latest music DJ’d by the country’s finest mixers.

The stage is set for Air New Zealand Fashion Week 2007 – all eyes will be on this unstoppable brand as it continues to stamp its creative footprint on the local and global fashion industry and generate a wealth of benefits for the New Zealand economy.



- 60 designers

- 36 shows

- 4 days

- 10,000 glasses of Deutz

- 200 models

- $20.5million media coverage

- 12 producers

- $327million of fashion exports from New Zealand

- 50 makeup artists

- 90 hairdressers

- 39 sponsors

- 4,000 members of the public who attended ANZFW 4U

- 185 international and local media

- 31 international and local photographers

© Scoop Media

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