Who Won Fashion Week Australia? Top International Buyers React


For the first time, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia aligned its full slate of runway shows with the seasons in the Northern Hemisphere. The goal? Make Oz’s best collections easier for buyers to shop and stock up north. It seems to be taking, too, with many international fashion directors heading to MBFWA to immerse themselves in the young talents and Aussie mainstays who rule the week. Here, three top buyers sound off on the highs of Fashion Week Australia. Expect to see the designers and pieces they’re name-dropping in stores come November.
Natalie Kingham, buying director at MatchesFashion.com

Why did you come to Fashion Week Australia in Sydney?
As a buyer it’s always important to come into key markets, not only to meet our customer and understand the local market better, but also to find new talent and gain inspiration and ideas. From our first visit to Australia four years ago, we have consistently been impressed by the caliber of design talent that we have discovered. From Zimmermann to Ellery to Dion Lee to Camilla and Marc, to name a few, they all offer a unique point of view, which is so important.

What were your thoughts on the shows in general?
We’ve seen some incredible shows this week and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time in Sydney. From the incredible production at By Johnny to the location at Camilla, it’s been exciting to see some new talent and also be inspired by what I have seen both on the runway and off.

What were your highlights of the week?
One of the highlights for me was the Romance Was Born show. I loved the brand’s creative DNA and attention to detail—the beautiful silk printed gowns were incredible. I was also impressed with Project NextGen’s winner, Monster Alphabets. I want to wear their black, knotted top with cropped pants right now.
Chloe Sippe, general merchandising manager of non-apparel at Moda Operandi

Why did you come to Fashion Week Australia in Sydney?
Moda Operandi is constantly on the hunt for new and emerging brands, and that search leads us all over the world. Australia has for a long time been the source of some of the best swimwear in the global market, as well as strong international designer brands like Tome, Ellery, and Toni Maticevski. We were excited to see what else we would discover.

What were your thoughts on the shows in general?
I think the change in timing for MBFWA was a great move by IMG. The designers seemed to embrace this renewed focus on Resort, and we could feel their confidence through their collections. It also makes so much more sense for the international market.

What were your highlights of the week?
Toni Maticevski opened Fashion Week with a very strong show, setting the tone for the rest of the week. Also, the Romance Was Born show—the designers brought such a wonderful sense of theater to both the set and their collection, it was pure fantasy.

Any pieces we can expect to see on Moda Operandi?
We are really excited about the swimwear we saw, in particular, Matteau, Rye, DuskII, and All That Remains. My team has already decided which pieces they’ll be wearing. I’m also loving the jewelry from Holly Ryan, Sarah & Sebastian, and Natasha Schweitzer. Holly’s navy blue leather choker and one of Sarah’s long single earrings are on my wish list.

Aisha Bennet, buyer, sportswear and swimwear, at Bergdorf Goodman

Why did you go to Fashion Week Australia in Sydney?
There seems to be a lot of creativity and fresh, new faces coming out of Australia. We have not had anyone attend Australia Fashion Week for many years and thought it was time to go see and meet the new designers.

What were your thoughts on the shows in general?
The shows were done extremely well, and each seemed to enhance their brand’s aesthetic. It was interesting to see designers and collections with Sydney as the backdrop. We saw quite a bit of activewear, swimwear, and layering pieces, which seemed to reflect the Sydney aesthetic and consumers. We also loved seeing what showgoers were wearing—and how much they loved supporting the local designers.

What were your highlights of the week?
Romance Was Born was fantasy-driven, intricately detailed, and spectacularly set in a mansion on the Harbour. Cool kids Tome and Dion Lee were also highlights. Camilla was a true spectacle with drummers, dancers, and gorgeous male models on a morning cruise.

Any pieces we can expect to see in Bergdorf Goodman?
We carry both Camilla and Dion Lee in Bergdorf Goodman and loved what we saw last week. We really wanted to meet many of the local designers and start conversations with them and build relationships to further see how we can work together.

99 total views, 1 views today