Across four invitation only days and a weekend of public events, a strong list of talented New Zealand designers put the new Viaduct Events Centre through its paces, with feedback from international media and buyers being resoundingly positive.
Alex Catarinella from The Huffington Post claimed to have had “one of the best Fashion Weeks of his life” and Tullia Jack from TheVine.com.au critiqued New Zealand fashion as “just so innovative”, as New Zealand fashion was once again thrust onto the international stage.
Now, the job of planning for New Zealand Fashion Week 2012 begins.
The biggest news of NZFW 2011 came on opening night, when NZFW Managing Director Pieter Stewart made comments in her opening speech, regarding the need for ongoingorganisational and financial support for the fashion industry, for NZFW to continue.
The New Zealand fashion industry is estimated to contribute $240 million annually in exports — a figure that does not take into account New Zealand designers who manufacture offshore and export to those markets — and has grown about 20% since the first NZFW. It also contributes millions internally to the economy and employs many thousands of New Zealanders.
Currently NZFW, a private company, offers the majority of organisational and financial support to the New Zealand fashion industry.
The industry is not supported under any Ministerial portfolio, nor is it represented by anygoverning body.
However, given the size of the fashion industry, NZFW believes it can no longer support the industry alone and Government agencies should be involved, alongside NZFW, in supportingthe industry.
NZFW will be looking to open a dialogue with Government, Fashion Industry New Zealand (FINZ) and other industry leaders, with the goal of forming a governing body to provide much needed financial and organisational support to the New Zealand fashionindustry.
NZFW is looking forward to strengthening its relationship with Auckland Tourism Events and Economic Development (ATEED) the region's economic growth agency.
NZFW has been identified by ATEED as an existing Auckland event that delivers significant economic return to the city and offers potential future growth.
This growth is a common goal shared by NZFW and it is looking forward to fostering this relationship.
NZFW will work with ATEED to deliver an event that is reflective of its reputation and status on the regional, national and international events calendar.
Every year NZFW competes with events all around the country for financial support by way ofsponsorship, a process that will continue in 2012 and beyond. NZFW’s unique point of difference in the market is its position as an event offering an unparalleled platform on which to showcase like-minded brands.
“As with any event or industry in the country, the NZFW team is talented, passionate andworks hard to deliver an exceptional event for New Zealand’s fashion industry each year,” Stewart said.
“We are very proud of NZFW 2011 and the opportunity we had to stage this event in Auckland’s newest venue, the Viaduct Events Centre, and under the halo of the biggest sporting event this country has seen.
“Once the designers have been chosen, we have no control over the quality of the fashion on show at NZFW, but the 2011 designers proved themselves on the catwalk and New Zealanders should be proud of the innovation and quality of the work our designers displayed.
As organisers we control the quality and smooth running of the NZFW event and the positive feedback we have had from all those involved: designers, sponsors, media and spectators confirms 2011 was a huge success,” Stewart added.
The NZFW team will now evaluate the success of the event in terms of the awareness it created both nationally and globally and start planning for NZFW 2012.
The NZFW teamwill also be planning New Zealand Fashion Festival (NZFF), the in-season fashion event that gives the public a chance to be a part of exciting catwalk fashion shows around Auckland City, scheduled to run 24 February – 4 March, 2012.
Imagery – Michael Ng/NZFW