A plea to keep Brisbane's fashion scene out of the fire

Model posing and telling a secret

Brisbane is in the middle of a transformation. There's an atmospherical shift in our development, mindset, culture and lifestyle. Today, you and I are apart of an iconic movement where Brisbane is being globally recognised.

Despite often being a few steps behind our sister cities such as Melbourne or Sydney, we are now seeing a dramatic change that is pushing us at the forefront of food, fashion and art.

It's all good and well to be proud of the growth from our stylish scene, but maybe it's time to dissect our fashion industry and highlight the struggles that independent boutiques and designers are regularly facing.

Recently, we've seen a number of independent fashion stores shut up shop because of significant financial losses, the lack of foot traffic and hard to meet marketing demands. With e-boutiques being the new norm and giant international retailers swallowing up the market; it raises the question as to how are small retailers supposed to survive in such a dense market.

With the digital shift affecting traditional business structure, independents are now having to juggle the demanding up keep of social media, online SEO, page ranking and advertising in the digisphere.

Where there was once the opportunity to solely focus on bricks and mortar, retailers now have to spread themselves thin in every department. As of late, companies have no choice but to direct their attention to posting new content to their blog, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, YouTube and Tumblr accounts along with constructing attention-grabbing, in-house eNewsletters.
It's of no wonder why our industry is suffering. The marketing, sales and delivery demands are peaking and the pressure to successfully manage all platforms often appear unattainable.

Recently, the Founder of Mercedez-Benz Fashion Week Australia (MBFWA) Simon Lock summoned a shift for Australia's most iconic weeks. Last year, MBFWA announced a change of dates where the event was moved from April to now being held a month later.

In his recent interview with Ragtrader he said, “We have foreseen the catalytic change that social media has been having on fashion weeks around the world.

“Via Facebook, Instagram and Twitter consumers have had a front row seat to the best designer shows in the world including Australian designers.

“This has created immediate demand for these designs which are not available in store for another six months.

According to Ragtrader, "Lock's suggestion that MBFWA be moved to August in line with the arrival of Spring/Summer collections in stores in September."

As an expert, Lock has been able to identify the shift with social media in the market place. But if experts are noticing the change and are remodelling the industry's structure to keep up with the times, how are independents expected to do the same?

The main question is raised on what can we do as an evolving city to support the emerging and long standing boutiques and designers?

As Brisbane's dining, apparel and lifestyle scene matures, we mustn't forget about the hard-working, fashion entrepreneurs who quite literally put clothes on our backs.

Maybe it's a plea, but it's worth taking some time out of your busy schedule to support your local favourites by double tapping an Instagram snap or liking a photo on Facebook. Better yet, shop their e-store or visit them in-house to say hello and shop their latest ranges.

By supporting our local scene, in a larger scale we are subsequently contributing to Brisbane's success.