Reflecting on the 2020 program, VAMFF CEO, Graeme Lewsey, said the campaign theme will be present throughout each element of the Festival. “In March 2020, Australia’s largest fashion event will be celebrating the industry that we love whilst delivering sheer joy and experiences that are a direct consequence of designing a festival for everyone to enjoy. It will be much more than a week of fashion in Melbourne. Guests at this Festival will experience “fashiontainment”, a sense of occasion, community spirit and wonderous human connections ignited by creativity.
“On a global scale, it is imperative that we continue to lead the conversation around the future of fashion and explore innovations that enhance the development of our Australian fashion industry. The second annual Australian Fashion Summit with deliver an insightful conversation and this year will include a panel curated exclusively by the world-leading Copenhagen Fashion Summit – a true testament to the conversations and connections we’re driving,” Mr Lewsey said.
The iconic Royal Exhibition Building will again be home to the world-class Festival Runways (10-14 March), featuring over 60 of Australia’s established and emerging designers across the program. Festival favourites Camilla and Marc, Scanlan Theodore, Romance Was Born and Rachel Gilbert, to name a few, will return to the Runway, while Reebok, Paulo Sebastian, SIR the label, Nagnata and more make their Festival debut. There will be over 20 Runways across the program in 2020.
2020 will see the introduction of the International Women’s Day Long Weekend (6-9 March), a four-day itinerary that celebrates women, beginning with the International Women’s Day Breakfast presented by marie claire (6 March). The breakfast is set to bring together “An inspiring line up of women from diverse professional backgrounds to cultivate and nurture great change towards equality” as the event is described.
Excitingly, Australian comedian (and all-round queen) Celeste Barber has been announced as an influential speaker at the Australian Fashion Summit. Celeste, who most recently has singlehandedly led a social media-powered revolution fundraising over $50m for those affected by the Australian bushfires, will discuss Who Really Has Influence Today, in conversation with the moderator of the Summit, Glynis Traill-Nash, as well as walk-in her first runway appearance at the Festival.
Additional events within the Long Weekend include the International Women’s Day Runway Lunch at Malvern Town Hall, presented by City of Stonnington and supported by Australian Women’s Weekly (6 March) as well as events throughout Melbourne including the NGV and Melbourne Museum.
The Plaza will return with a spectacular Fashion’s Wonderland vibe and will again be the hot-spot for street-style snappers and fashion lovers. The glamourous party atmosphere will offer plenty of food at Admissions by Tommy Collins, a variety of activations, and the return of the Block Party (14 March). The hugely popular Shop The Runway® digital platform will again offer guests the chance to buy the season’s styles straight from the Runway each night.
The Gala Runway, presented by David Jones and supported by Vogue Australia (10 March), will remain the largest exclusive International and Australian designer line-up of the Festival; while the Virgin Australia Grand Showcase, presented by marie claire (12 March), will showcase the extraordinary talents of Toni Maticevski, one of Australia’s most successful and internationally renowned designers. The MATICEVSKI collection showcased at the Festival will be coming straight from the runways of Paris.
In 2020, the Festival will again feature the highly successful Australian Fashion Summit co-presented by Visit Victoria (13 March). The event, created for the industry, by the industry, will offer a schedule of business discussions in a full-day format and will be assembling global thought-leaders to provide insights, test ideas and help further the industry’s capability and capacity. Headlining thought leaders for 2020 include Laura Brown, Editor in Chief InStyle USA with more speakers to be announced.
Showroom II will return in 2020 with a week-long program of scheduled runways. The 500-seat setting in the Royal Exhibition Building will be home to a collection of Victorian designers showcasing a series of Studio Edit Runways. It will also house the National Graduate Showcase, presented by Target and Fashion Journal and REEBOK Runway, launching its latest 2020 women’s apparel collection.
Driving diversity and sustainability will remain at the core of the Festival. Together with David Jones, the Festival will not only crown the winner of the coveted National Designer Award presented by David Jones with over $120k in prize value but will award one finalist with the Honourable Mention of Sustainability. The recipient of this award will have the opportunity to complete a mentorship program, tailored towards it's brand and focus areas. Sustainability will continue to be a topic of discussion throughout the Australian Fashion Summit, and under the Festival Program more broadly.
The Festival’s Arts and Ideas program is set to be the most extensive yet with highlights including over 70 events. NOCTURNAL X MELBOURNE FASHION (6 March) will celebrate the best in fashion and music for the second year and is a tailor-made night of culture and fashion with a performance line-up featuring: Banoffee, Chunky Move x Romance Was Born, Rainbow Chan, Mojo Juju (Dj Set), Purple Sneakers, Feels, Pania, SaD, and Hey Drums.
In a first for both organisations, the Festival has partnered with Vision Australia to launch a pilot program offering Tactile Tours and Audio Description services at select premium runways, for audience members who are blind or have low vision. Both Vision Australia and the Festival are passionate about making sure runways are accessible to all fashion enthusiasts to attend, and the tours will provide guests with an introduction to the designers’ collections backstage prior to appearing on the runway, while a professional audio description of the runway action will make the visual, verbal. This initiative augments the Festival’s accessibility features including Auslan interpretation available at Ideas Program events, and wheelchair accessibility at all hub venues.
The 2020 Festival will span 11 fashion-filled days and offer a range of travel bundles and fashion experiences in collaboration with Virgin Australia and Visit Victoria for people to come together to be both informed and inspired. A number of exciting program announcements and highlights will follow this announcement into the new year in 2020.
Further information and tickets on sale now at vamff.com.au.