The end of an era.
It’s been a very sad week for fashion in Brisbane with the announcement that the Mercedes Benz Fashion Festival (MBFF), is no longer going to take place in the city.
After a wonderful, decade-long run of haute-couture shows in fabulous locations, the organisers have been forced to pull the plug after the State Government withdrew support for the event.
You could feel the emotion in Festival director Lindsay Bennett’s frank and open press release and the news has been greeted with dismay and disbelief in Brisbane’s fashion community.
As we have described many times, MBFF was a world class event which put Brisbane on the international fashion stage and created opportunities and opened doors for many of the city’s talented designers.
Last year’s 10th anniversary event was particularly memorable, with the EKKA show ground location transformed into a European-style, destination show. At least the team can say they went out with a bang, with record attendances and one of Australia’s top models walking the runway.
How established labels will replace the exposure generated by MBFF in the future is questionable, with huge added expenses likely to be incurred to attend Sydney or Melbourne shows.
Of even greater concern is the flow-on effect to up and coming labels who will no longer have the benefit of the festival group shows and networking opportunities the festival provided to press their cause.
At a time when Brisbane is finally able to attract world-class fashion stores and labels we can only hope that this is a temporary blip and that the Government realises what an enormous impact this will have on the burgeoning Brisbane fashion industry.
As a fashion devotee I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it is just Au revoir and not Adieu!