Afterpay to end naming-rights sponsorship after three years

But at least one brand representative, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said small designers may find the costs insurmountable, forcing them to stage smaller events or press pause on events altogether. “It might deter a lot of emerging designers,” she said.

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Still, most designers contacted agreed that despite the outlay, fashion week offers a money-can’t-buy marketing opportunity, as well as tangible results for wholesale accounts, including international exports, and new customers who come through media coverage and social channels.

Dale McCarthy, founder of swimwear and resort label Bondi Born, said it was disappointing that Afterpay was moving on, as the company had brought a “freshness to how the event was executed” but that “the event stands on its own two legs”.

“I’m sure the event will find a new partner,” she said. “It won’t impact our decision to show … There’s no other single form of marketing I can do in a year that can replace this.”

In a statement, Natalie Xenita, vice president and managing director of IMG Fashion Events and Properties Asia Pacific, said the New York-based owners of Australian Fashion Week were committed to the event for 2024 and beyond.

“Afterpay joined Australian Fashion Week as title sponsor at an immensely challenging time for the fashion industry,” Xenita said. “Their support enabled us to continue providing designers with a global trade and consumer marketing platform during the pandemic.”

No replacement sponsor has been announced. Previously, Australian Fashion Week had been sponsored by Mercedes-Benz and Rosemount Wines.

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