During MBFWA, which runs from 15-21 May 2016, the world’s most influential buyers, designers, creative talent, media and fashion-loving visitors converge on Sydney as it hosts major fashion exhibitions and events.
Fashion and retail are big business for NSW’s visitor economy as shopping for pleasure is amongst the three most popular tourist activities for international visitors. In 2015, more than 2.5 million international visitors spent over $1 billion shopping in Sydney and NSW with almost seven in every ten shopping dollars being spent on items to take home.
NSW Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events, Stuart Ayres said, “Sydney Australia’s global fashion capital and we are incredibly proud to lead the world in showcasing Resort Collections at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia.”
“Fashion is an important industry for NSW, employing some 68,000 people on average in 2015 across design, manufacturing, wholesaling and retailing, and generating retail sales of around $8.3 billion, and the benefits of the sector flow into the visitor economy.”
Destination NSW Chief Executive Officer, Sandra Chipchase agrees and points out that Sydney has a wealth of fashion experiences for style-loving visitors. She says, “Sydney is home to leading labels and cutting-edge designers, and offers a range of complimentary fashion related experiences. Our stand out shopping precincts, such as Paddington’s Intersection or the old world charm of the Queen Victoria Building, are experiences in their own right.”
Some of Sydney’s fashion experiences, available to international and domestic fashion-lovers, include:
Mercedes-Benz Fashion Weekend Edition 20-21 May 2016
Mid-week MBFWA focuses on industry and revealing new ready-to-wear resort collections from established contemporary international and local designers. But on the weekend, the doors are thrown open to visitors for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Weekend Edition. Hosted on MBFWA’s catwalk at Carriageworks, the consumer event allows fashionistas to get front row at runway shows, mingle with models, attend frontrunner talks from fashion icons, and partake in styling and beauty workshops.
Isabella Blow: A Fashionable Life exhibition at The Powerhouse Museum, 14 May – 28 August 2016
The private collection of fashion visionary and fashion magazine editor, the late Isabella Blow, will be on display at the Powerhouse Museum. Featuring looks from Alexander McQueen, Hussein Chalayan, Julien Macdonald and more, A Fashionable Life provides a glimpse into a fashion provocateur.
More than 45 of Isabella bold outfits, hats, shoes and jewellery created by more than 20 of the world’s top fashion designers will be displayed along with images from key fashion photographers. The exhibition will also feature Blow trademark, her creative and distinctive hats which have been released from milliner Philip Treacy’s personal archives.
This is only the third time that Isabella Blow: A Fashionable Life will be exhibited to the public and the first time the collection will travel to the Asia-Pacific region.
Collette Dinnigan: Unlaced at the Powerhouse Museum, until 28 August 2016
Internationally-acclaimed Australian designer Collette Dinnigan opened her first boutique in Sydney’s Paddington fashion precinct many years ago, since then she has gone on to create masterpieces for Princess Mary of Denmark, the Duchess of Cambridge and Taylor Swift. Collette Dinnigan: Unlaced is a unique opportunity for visitors to go behind the scenes and see Collette’s mastery up close with over 100 garments and understand Dinnigan’s inspiration for her delicately embellished couture.
Margaret Zhang at Vivid Ideas 28 May, 2016
Margaret Zhang is one of Australia’s most influential new creatives and has built a global fan base for her work as a stylist, photographer, and creative director. Since her digital beginnings in the fashion industry in 2009, Margaret has worked with global brands including UNIQLO, Swarovski, Clinique, Louis Vuitton and more. On stage at Vivid Ideas on 28 May, Margaret will share her career journey and explains her approaches to collaborations, working with brands, and the processes and practices that make her prolific output possible.
Shopping highlights in Sydney
Sydney’s shopping precincts are experiences in their own right. Paddington is well-known as designer centre where The Intersection (corner of Oxford St and Glenmore Rd) is home to a strip of handpicked edgy boutiques and upcoming Australian designers including Ksubi, Ellery, Sass and Bide and Josh Goot.
The Strand Arcade and Queen Victoria Building, in the heart of the city, are also a must see for fashion lovers with designer labels, jewelers, and unique gift shops. Here old world charm of sandstone and stained glass becomes a beautifully restored emporium of fashion, jewellery and gifts. The Tea Room QVB serves high tea daily in a gorgeous former Grand Ballroom.
Flagship stores for international designer brands, such as Armani Exchange, Burberry, Chanel, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Versace and more, can be found nearby around Martin Place and on Castlereagh, Elizabeth, George and King streets. While on weekends artisans and new designers show their wares at Sydney’s eclectic outdoor markets at Paddington and The Rocks.