2010 MERCEDES-BENZ Fashion Festival Brisbane – August 2010

The Mercedes-Benz Fashion Festival Brisbane has once again positioned itself as the most prestigious fashion event in Queensland. With an unprecedented number of designers and retailers applying to participate in the festival, this year the program promises to be more exciting than ever before, and is tipped to be the most successful to date.

Premier Anna Bligh said the Queensland Government was thrilled to once again partner with Mercedes-Benz Fashion Festival, which is now in its fifth year.

“The Mercedes-Benz Fashion Festival plays a major role in showcasing Queensland’s emerging and established designers to both consumers and the media,” she said.

“Queensland design leaders like Easton Pearson, Pistols at Dawn and Gail Sorronda are leading the way on the world stage.

“2010 is shaping up as the year of fashion for Queensland and our Government will continue to support our designers through events like this fabulous festival.”

Lord Mayor Campbell Newman said Brisbane City Council was thrilled to partner with the fifth Mercedes-Benz Fashion Festival Brisbane, now hosted by South Bank.

“We recognise the fundamental role art and culture play in the life and experience of our city,” Cr Newman said. “The Mercedes-Benz Fashion Festival Brisbane draws people to view some of the best local, national and international fashion talent and provides a platform for our young and emerging artists to showcase their work.”

“I’m delighted to once again support the festival which has become a highly anticipated event on our city’s cultural calendar and established itself as the leading fashion event in Queensland.”

Festival Director Lindsay Bennett says that this event has clearly demonstrated that it provides real returns for the designers/retailers, sponsors and the city. “We are now the premier fashion festival showcasing spring/summer collections to the rest of the country and we are thrilled to once again have the support of Mercedes-Benz as our naming rights sponsor for the fifth year in a row, and a fabulous new home at South Bank.”

General Manager of Marketing for Mercedes-Benz Australia, Gavin Allen, believes the Festival is an essential platform for designers. “Mercedes-Benz Fashion Festival Brisbane continues to provide an exciting and important platform for local, national and international designers and ensures that the spirit of innovation continues to herald the emergence of the next generation of Australian design talent”.

With this year’s festival being staged over the weekend for the first time, Mr Bennett anticipates that ticket sales will go through the roof with expectations of a sell-out being highly achievable. “Brisbane is fast becoming Australia’s ‘new world city’ and this is evident in the numbers of guests who are now coming to our city to see successful fashion and cultural events like the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Festival. We are really excited with the amount of interest we’ve had so far for this year.”

South Bank Corporation CEO Malcolm Snow also considers it a coup to attract the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Festival to the Parklands, South Bank.

“South Bank Corporation is delighted to welcome the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Festival to the Parklands, South Bank. We’re thrilled to be associated with high-calibre emerging and established designers and the creativity they exhibit. The Parklands is a place that showcases innovative modern living and we believe that bringing the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Festival to our precinct will bring the best Queensland and Australian designers in contact with Brisbane’s top business professionals, cultural institutions and the general public. It is this creative exchange, across all cultural forums, industries and demographics that actively contributes to a diverse and exciting South Bank,” says Mr Snow.

Kicking off on Saturday, August 7, and running to Friday, August 13, the 2010 Festival will celebrate the arrival of the spring/summer collections with 10 group shows showcasing 38 local designers, 24 national designers and 24 international designers including Easton Pearson, Lisa Ho, Scanlan & Theodore and Pistols at Dawn to name just a few.

Staged in the Cultural Forcourt, South Bank, this year’s line-up will be showcased in a purpose built 60m x 15m marquee with tiered seating and a 30 metre runway to offer ticket holders the best possible views. Seating allocation will be determined on a first purchased, first seated basis – so the earlier you buy tickets the closer you are to the runway.

Designed to offer the public the broadest possible selection of accessible events, the 2010 program also boasts a National Media Luncheon, a series of QueensPlaza fashionable morning tea and salon showings, a Schwarzkopf Professional Hair and Fashion Show, the Australian Fashion Graduate of the Year Award, a festival highlights parade and Wrap Party and an expanded program of free events and parades in the Queen Street Mall. Guests can also expect to explore Brisbane’s depth of fashion knowledge, history and innovation via the popular QUT Fashion After Hours cultural program in association with the State Library of Queensland which will look at “Couture – Is It Still Relevant” and “The Current State of Contemporary Australian Fashion.” The State Library will also be hosting two ‘Deepen the Conversation’ panel sessions.

For the first time the Festival is broadening its reach with the help of Queensland Rail to invite people from regional Queensland to come and experience the Festival and explore the great shopping on offer. Package details will include rail tickets with Queensland Rail, overnight accommodation, tickets to Group Shows and tickets to the Valentino Exhibition at GoMA.

Festival organisers applaud all sponsors whose commitment and valued support has helped to grow the Festival into an event that continues to achieve new heights each year. Major sponsors include Mercedes-Benz, South Bank Corporation, Queensland Government, Brisbane City Council and Brisbane Marketing (under the Brisbane – Australia’s New World City brand), QPAC, Myer, Queen Street Mall, Hilton Brisbane and the Foster’s Group under the Rosemount banner.

Also invaluable are our long-term media partners Network TEN, 97.3FM and The Sunday Mail, and our digital media partner ourbrisbane.com in promoting the event this year.

The Festival’s makeup sponsor will again be Napoleon Perdis. His professional team will provide make-up for all the group shows alongside leading-edge stylists from hair sponsors Schwarzkopf Professional, both who have supported the Festival for many years.

Another exciting feature of this year’s program is the addition of a vibrant and stylish on-line magazine called MBFFLIP which will feature updated news and reviews of everything fashionable and fun during the Festival. “It will include fashion and beauty trends, highlight festival news, blogs, designer profiles, hot spots to be seen around town and the best places to eat, drink and be entertained,“ says Bennett.

Guests will also enjoy the Festival’s uber-fashionable hospitality at the Rosemount Bar situated at the Cascade Court at QPAC. South Bank will also be hosting supper clubs following each show so Festival goers can sample internationally-inspired food and wine menus that are every bit as glamorous as the catwalk.

Costing in excess of $850,000 to stage, Mr Bennett said the 2010 Mercedes-Benz Fashion Festival represented a significant and timely statement of confidence in the creativity and resilience of the local fashion industry, and its ability to survive and thrive during tough economic times.

“Almost 20,000 people attended shows and workshops in 2009 – an increase of 33% on the year before – with a number of shows selling out. We are confident we can repeat that success and continue building Queensland’s reputation as a fashion force to be reckoned with.”

Other significant successful results from the 2009 festival include an average retail spend of $509 by approximately 9,000 people attending the Festival. This resulted in a $4.58 million spend in the lead-up to and during the Festival. Print media coverage of over $14 million was achieved. Research from participating designers and retailers showed that foot traffic increased by 10% and sales increased by 13% during August 2009.

“It’s through the investment and support of local and national companies that the Festival succeeds. The Cultural Forecourt at South Bank will be transformed into a runway spectacle thanks to the skills of Excel Event Equipment Hire providing the marquee and Active Air Rentals cooling the space with technical partners Chameleon Lighting, Staging Rentals and Norwest Productions providing the production elements. Printpoint have again given us their support to produce our programs and brochures in 2010.”

Mr Bennett thanked Premier Anna Bligh for her ongoing support for the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Festival – Brisbane, hosted by South Bank.

Ms Bligh and Mr Bennett were flanked at today’s program launch by models dressed by four of the Festival’s featured designers, Tulipani, Jacqueline Buck, Sacha Drake and Samantha Ogilvie.

In July, casting will begin for the more than 300 models that are expected to be employed for the Festival.

“This in itself is a measure of how much the Festival contributes to Queensland and our economy,” Mr Bennett said. “We’re really thrilled to be able to offer employment to some of the state’s hard-working young people and the hundreds of volunteers from all areas that play a vital role in making this event such a success.”

True to that philosophy, the Festival is also proud to again stage the Australian Fashion Graduate of the Year Award – a competition that shines the spotlight on the best of a new generation of designers graduating from Australia’s top six fashion institutions. Entry is by nomination only, with lecturers invited to recommend the students who they believe have genuine potential to impact on the international fashion scene, with all 12 finalists receiving invaluable media exposure and introductions to key players within the industry.

Tickets go on sale now through QTIX outlets or by phoning 136 246.

In addition to a range of free events, ticket prices have been scaled to cater for all budgets, ranging from $10.00-$125.00 and a selection of tailored package deals on offer including:

Early Booking Discount of 15% off individual ticket prices for tickets ordered before 30 June (excludes Season Tickets or three ticket packages, QueensPlaza Morning Teas, QUT Fashion After Hours, Deepen the Conversation at State Library and the Highlight Parade and Wrap Party);
Three (3) Ticket Package $117.00 (save $21.00) – Select three (3) x $46 Group Show tickets and receive a 15% discount (price inclusive GST and QTIX booking fee).
Season Ticket $504.00 (save $88.00) – Attend all ticketed events (except the QueensPlaza High Teas, QUT Fashion After Hours and Deepen the Conversation) and receive a 15% discount (price inclusive GST and QTIX booking fee). Season Ticket holders will receive priority seating.

Continuing its tradition of giving back to the community, the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Festival – Brisbane, hosted by South Bank is also proud to announce that in 2010 it will donate $1 from every ticket sold to its chosen charity, The Royal Children’s Hospital Foundation.

The full program is available at: www.mbff.com.au