Emerging designers to delight fashion lovers

Sydney’s fashion-buying public will have a unique opportunity to preview collections from emerging designers that are hitting the runway at this year’s Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia.

Leading the way in the fast-changing world of fashion, seven graduate designers will show their collections at an innovative temporary retail space.

Taking place at 72 Oxford Street until Sunday 29 May, the showcase will be open to media, industry and the public.

The pioneering event has been made possible through the City of Sydney’s Short Term Empty Property (STEP) Program, which makes empty inner city spaces available on a temporary and affordable basis to creative projects.

Attending the retail space launch event last night, Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the City was committed to fostering creative businesses and events that support Sydney’s economy and culture.

“Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia promotes our city as a top fashion destination to audiences worldwide,” the Lord Mayor said.

“This event provides a great opportunity for talented emerging designers to launch their careers on the world stage.

“Our temporary retail space on Oxford Street showcases just one of the ways Sydney is helping talented artists and designers set standards for business globally.

“I’m delighted these graduates are shaping the future of fashion by being able to share their collections with Sydney fashion lovers in this innovative way.”

The event is part of a mentoring program and the result of a collaboration between Raffles College of Design and Commerce and The Design Residency.

“Offering a preview event in a physical space responds to the changing demands of the fashion-buying public, and gives designers valuable on-the-spot feedback,” founder of The Design Residency, Lorraine Lock, said.

“Fashion lovers no longer want to wait six months for designs to become available. So some of our designers are inviting them to see their ranges in person, place an order, just like the buyers do, and receive the items before anyone else.

“This is a bold move. No one else is doing this in Australia, not even the established labels.”

The Design Residency has been using the City’s STEP Program temporary retail space since June 2015. So far the Oxford Street space has enabled over 40 local artists, designers and makers to sell and exhibit their wares in curated and themed activations.

Fashion designer Inder Dhillon, the first designer to exhibit in the space last year, said it was an amazing experience.

“Being in The Design Residency shop was a real game-changer for my brand,” Dhillon said.

“It enabled me to have face-to-face contact with shoppers, a better idea of what was popular in my range, confidence in my product and assurance that my prices were on-point – and it also enabled me to finesse my target market goals.”

The emerging designers showcasing their collections at 72 Oxford Street until 29 May are:

Chad Nguyen
Leah Williams
Iva Pfeiffer
Jennyfer Alonzo
Queency Yustiawan
Anne de la Motte
Gemma Saccasan
Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia 2016 is supported by the City of Sydney. It takes place from Sunday 15 to Friday 20 May at Carriageworks in Redfern.

On 20 and 21 May, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Weekend Edition at Carriageworks will showcase Australia’s best and brightest designers on the runway as well as beauty workshops and the opportunity to mingle with the models backstage before the shows.