The sun might be shining but it is a bleak day for Brisbane's fashion scene.
After a decade of supporting Queensland fashion and a hugely successful 10th anniversary celebration in 2015, it comes as a shock to the industry that Mercedes-Benz Fashion Festival Brisbane is over.
Fashion Weekly’s Director, Stacey O’Keeffe recently expressed the desperate need for Brisbane businesses and individuals to support the local fashion industry before it become irrelevant to the Australian fashion industry in ‘The plea to keep Brisbane's fashion scene out of the fire’.
Sadly, this threat has escalated as the organisers of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Festival Brisbane have announced on February 23rd 2016 that the iconic festival has been cancelled.
“Since 2006, the Fashion Festival has promoted the local fashion industry, supported emerging designers and showcased a world-class runway event involving some of the biggest names in Australian fashion,” said Festival Director, Lindsay Bennett.
“It is extremely disappointing that we have had to make the decision to cancel the Festival – meaning that Queensland will be the only state not to have its own Fashion Festival this year – but unfortunately we are left with no other choice.
“It is not a decision we’ve made lightly... but unfortunately the funding is just not there,” Bennett said.
Shockingly Queensland is the only state other than Tasmania that does not have Government support for its Fashion Festival.
“On a personal level, I have given my heart and soul to the Festival over the past 10 years, so I am devastated to be shutting the door, however my business has underwritten the event a number of times and it’s no longer financially viable, which has led to this very tough decision,” Bennett commented.
There will no doubt be questions raised about what this means for Brisbane designers and local creatives. The Mercedes-Benz Fashion Festival has been a platform for showcasing Brisbane’s unique talent for a decade, how will emerging local designers get recognised without the iconic event?
“With the emerging talent striving to make a mark in our fashion scene, designers, stylists, makeup artists and photographers no longer have a platform to showcase their work,” said Fashion Weekly Director, Stacey O’Keeffe.
“Currently Brisbane's fashion scene is quiet and there isn't a single designer making waves nationally yet alone internationally. Without an iconic event such as MBFF how are we supposed to celebrate our creative industry?
"Lindsay Bennett has supported our local scene in more ways than one. I would personally like to thank him and his team for creating an event that has had such a successful impact.
"It's a sad time, but Brisbane will surely find another way to shine,” expressed O'Keeffe.