Last week as part of Australia’s largest ever trade mission to China, five fashion brands from Melbourne including Cylk, Leonard Street, Limedrop, Kuwaii and Lui Hon were showcased at a gala dinner in Beijing. Supported by the Victorian State Government and in collaboration with the L’Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival (LMFF) the Australian designer showcase was the first of its kind to be held in China.
Held at the Beijing Jockey Club, the event was hosted by Victorian Minister for Innovation, Services and Small Business the Hon. Louise Asher and included speeches by LMFF Chairman Laura Anderson and CEO Graeme Lewsey.
Other attendees included Vice President of the China Fashion Association Pauline Su, buyers from Galleries Lafayette Beijing and a host of media and other China fashion industry experts and decision makers.
Speaking at the opening, Minister Asher commented on the opportunities for fashion based exchanges between Australia and China. The Minister also announced that both countries are working together on a follow-up event titled the Australia-China Fashion Alliance to be held in Beijing during China Fashion Week in March 2013.
LMFF Chief Executive Officer Graeme Lewsey who represented the Australian fashion industry in China stated:
“Excellence is what Melbourne’s unique fashion and retail offering is built around and this historic mission will give Melbourne designers, who are looking to understand the Chinese fashion and retail sector, a curated experience to showcase their product and brand in one of the world’s fastest growing fashion destinations, Beijing.”
For smaller Australian brands to break into the China fashion market on their own is no easy task and would require large financial and time resources. However, through the Australian fashion delegation and showcase, the five designers were able to efficiently meet a cross section of Chinese fashion industry experts, media, market entry experts and Chinese designers. The designers who were chosen for their export readiness also participated in a series of market entry seminars and had chances to present their collections to the Chinese fashion media.
Being open to the general public, LMFF held annually in March is among the biggest consumer fashion events in the world and the leading fashion event in Australia.