News Videos Gallery Show Schedule DESIGNERS
Gloss of Fashion Week hides struggling industry
Wed, 05 Sep 2012 12:55p.m.
By Janika ter Ellen
New Zealand Fashion Week is well underway, but the industry it supports is struggling.
Exports of Kiwi-made clothes and accessories have almost halved in the last four years and there are growing calls for an industry body to give designers a strategy – as well as a voice.
Fashion Week looks the way it should; lights, media, celebrities. But behind the good looks, the industry is doing it tough.
“We’ve got the hangover from the Global Financial Crisis,” Says Fashion Industry NZ spokesman Paul Bloomfield.
“People don’t have the money in their pockets to spend on clothing.
“There’s the high NZ dollar, which has made our manufacturing more expensive and made it cheaper to import things. And just generally the industry is a little fragmented and weak,” he says.
So, designers are changing their patterns of business.
“What most of the brands are trying to do is drive sales at their retail right now – they want people to go into shops and buy clothing here and now.
“It’s much more about influencing your local customer.”
More and more, we are selling to ourselves.
In 2007, New Zealand exported $111 million worth of Kiwi-made clothes and accessories.
Since then the figures have been declining steadily. Last year, we sold just $63 million worth - or almost half the amount of five years ago.
Fashion Week, the industry’s biggest trade show, is designed to help. But some bigger names, are no shows; Karen Walker, Kate Sylvester and WORLD, whose founder Francis Hooper says the event just isn’t what he needs. What he needs, is international sales.
“The reality is, if you wanna get paid, you get on a plane and build relationships,” he says.
“This year, we’re busy selling, we’re busy doing business, so it’s not relevant for us.”
But with no industry body, Fashion Week is the biggest gathering point for Kiwi brands and Business New Zealand says our designers need to co-operate, in order to sell more.
NZ Fashion Week director Dame Pieter Stewart agrees. She’s trying to raise $1.5 million to set up a Fashion Council.
“Every industry needs to strategize how best to promote that industry internationally, what's the best thing to make the most of what we’ve got,” she says.
The ultimate goal, is to get more Kiwi designs in demand overseas.
Fashion Week shows are available On Demand at TV3.co.nz/NZFW
Post a Comment
Before commenting, please take the time to read our moderation guide
(Won't be published)
Copyright © 2013 MediaWorks TV. All Rights Reserved.