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NZ Fashion Week postponed amid economic downturn

New Zealand Fashion Week 2024 has been called off, with organisers blaming the effects of the economic downturn and pressures on consumer spending on the fashion industry.

NZFW announced today that it will transition the previously annual event to a biennial schedule and will move Fashion Week from August 2024 to the second half of 2025.

In a statement, NZFW said it was “greatly heartened” by the early commitment from a group of anchor designers and sponsors, in particular the event’s naming rights partner Shark Beauty and Tātaki Auckland Unlimited, media partner NZME, Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei, Millennium Hotels & Resorts, Westfield, Resene, Go Well and Ministry of Social Development.

Reduced consumer spending

“But the reality is that consumer confidence is at an all-time low and the fashion retail industry has been particularly affected by the reduced consumer spending,” NZFW said.

“Although we had a strong cohort of committed designers, we didn’t have enough for a robust weeklong schedule to make the event viable this year. We have listened to the industry, and carefully considered and taken on board the feedback from designers around the country, who tell us they need dedicated time and space to focus on their core retail business.”

NZFW said with such strong economic headwinds, it has become clear this year is a time for consolidation.

It said a pause would also allow time for the Wynyard Quarter crossing bridge to be repaired, its continued closure presenting a significant challenge for public attendance and access to the Viaduct Events Centre.

‘Mindful shift’

“While we recognise the excitement there is around NZFW following its triumphant and successful return in 2023, demonstrating its resilience and popular appeal, transitioning to a long-term biennial programme reflects the mindful shift we see within Aotearoa’s fashion industry.

“Staging the event less frequently is a more strategic allocation of resources and enables the sector in achieving its sustainability goals, an important consideration for designers as well as our own values. We are confident that the revised schedule, delivered with the support of our partners, will work well for the industry and Auckland events calendar.”

According to NZFW, the extended timeframe gives the participants more time to prepare and plan the financial support for presenting their brands and their collections, “so that we can continue to stage an impactful and innovative, world-class event that is a befitting showcase for our talented industry.

“We will provide further updates on 2025 dates in coming months, for now we want to give our heartfelt thanks to all those who had been involved in preparing for NZFW 2024 Presented by Shark Beauty and give our ongoing support to the designer community – we stand beside you.”

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