NZ Fashion Week 2024 cancelled

New Zealand Fashion Week has been cancelled for 2024.

The event, a fixture on Auckland’s fashion calendar, was to be held in August.

However, the economic downturn and pressure on consumer spending had led to the decision to hold the event every two years, instead of every year, New Zealand Fashion Week owner Feroz Ali said.

The next event is expected to take place in the second half of 2025.

“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,” Ali 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.”

It comes just weeks after designer Kate Sylvester announced she would close her business after three decades.

Retail NZ chief executive Carolyn Young said at the time that designers were in a tough spot.

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - AUGUST 31: Models pose backstage ahead of the Kate Sylvester show during New Zealand Fashion Week 23: Kahuria at Viaduct Events Centre‎ on August 31, 2023 in Auckland, New Zealand.

“What we do know for retail in general is it’s a really, really difficult time.”

Centrix chief executive Keith McLaughlin said liquidations for the retail sector were up 57 percent from where they were this time last year.

“So across the [economy], they are probably the most affected of any sector out there,” he said.

“At the moment, discretionary spending is being held very tightly, so consumers will not generally buy things that they don’t need to. That immediately impacts some industries, retail is one in particular.”

Ali said designers had told the New Zealand Fashion Week organisers that they needed dedicated time and space to focus on their core retail business.

“With such strong economic headwinds, it has become clear this year is a time for consolidation.

“A pause will 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.”

Covid-19 led to a four-year hiatus for the event and it only returned to the calendar in 2023.

Ali said that was a “triumphant and successful return” that demonstrated the event’s popular appeal.

However, “transitioning to a long-term biennial programme reflects the mindful shift we see within Aotearoa’s fashion industry”, he said.

“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.”

Organisers would provide updates on 2025 dates in the coming months, he said.

According to the news on Radio New Zealand

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