The Mercedes-Benz Fashion Festival's decade-long presence in Brisbane is over.
With deep regret, event organisers have pulled the pin on the fashion event due to escalating costs and lack of a corporate sponsors.
A recent decision by the Queensland Government not to support the festival also contributed to its axing. “Since 2006 the Fashion Festival has promoted the local fashion industry, supported emerging designers and showcased a world-class runway event involving some of the biggest names in Australian fashion,” Festival Director, Lindsay Bennett said.
“It is extremely disappointing that we have had to make the decision to cancel the Festival... but unfortunately we are left with no other choice.
“The Festival cost well over $700,000 to stage last year and to maintain the integrity as well as evolve the event going forward it needs significant support. Queensland is the only state (except Tasmania) that does not have Government backing and to continue without it would mean a scaled down version that ultimately would not be showcasing Queensland’s creative industry to its maximum potential,” Lindsay said.
Professor Suzi Vaughan, Deputy Vice Chancellor at QUT, has been on the Advisory Panel of the Fashion Festival since its inception and says the loss of the Festival will leave a hole in Queensland’s cultural calendar. “I have seen first-hand the many ways the Festival has created opportunities for the industry, and the myriad of ways it has engaged, revealed and celebrated emerging local designers as well as established Australian talent.
“It has helped put Brisbane on the map in terms of fashion and created a sense of pride in our home-grown designers... It’s with real regret that I see it disappear.”
While one door closes, Queensland fashionistas can look forward to the 9th annual Sunshine Coast Fashion Festival on 22 October, 2016.
The festival's vision 'is to shine the spotlight on Sunshine Coast labels while presenting national and international designers alongside'. VIPs, celebrities, media and the public will experience a glittering weekend of fashion, encompassing couture, ready to wear, swimwear and ethical design.
While south of the Queensland border, the Byron Bay International Fashion Festival takes place 30 April, 2016.