Fashion / Fashion Feature

Afterpay Australian Fashion Week: schedule, designers and more

The girlies are heading to Carriageworks! Yes, it's that time of year again. Afterpay Australian Fashion Week has landed at our doorstep once more, here to put some spring in our step from 9 – 13 May 2022.

Launching off the success of last season, when Afterpay Australian Fashion Week appeared fresh-faced with a brand new name and modus operandi after its pandemic-forced hiatus, here at RUSSH we're bringing you everything you need to know about Australia's biggest week in fashion.

As we wait with bated breath for the official AAFW 2022 schedule to be announced on April 6, we're delighted to report that Australian fashion royalty, Bianca Spender, is set to open the festivities with her Summer and Resort collection. Kicking off at 9am Monday, May 9 in Gallery 1 – a space dedicated to the late Carla Zampatti – expect a presentation that celebrates Spender's passage through design. Within her opening collection, Spender has also promised a see-now-buy-now capsule, to be presented on the runway and available for purchase immediately following the show.

As for the rest of the shows? Watch this space for a list of designers, showtimes and official timetable as they're announced.

In the meantime, why not reflect on the week that was AAFW 2021? From the trends that saturated the runway and the beauty looks that moved us to our favourite news models and an impeccable round of Australian street style. Otherwise, you can revisit our collection highlights, from Christopher Esber, Jordan Dalah, Jordan Gogos, COMMAS, Romance Was Born and Bassike. And as always, with Afterpay Australian Fashion Week on the horizon, that can only mean the return of one thing: the RUSSH F*ck Fashion, Let's Dance Party. It's a night of dancing and debauchery, but you can see for yourself with our insider's guide to the 2021 rave cave as shot by Kitty Callaghan and Ella Jane.

Afterpay Australian Fashion Week schedule

The AAFW 2022 schedule has finally landed! This year's event will begin with a Welcome to Country produced by First Nations Fashion + Design.

Following on for the rest of week will see an offering of 50 live runway shows and presentations, beginning with Bianca Spender's opening show.

Designer shows include Aaizel, Adaptive Clothing Collective, Aje, Alix Higgins, All Is A Gentle Spring, Anna Antal, Apartment, Asta Resort, Auteur, bassike, Beare Park, BEC + BRIDGE, Bianca Spender, BONDI BORN, By Weave, Daniel Avakian, Dyspnea, Emma Pills, ERIK-YVON, ESSE, First Nations Fashion + Design, Gary Bigeni, Gyre, Hansen & Gretel, Haulier, Henne, Indigenous Fashion Projects, Injury, Iordanes Spyridon Gogos, Jordan Dalah, Joslin, Karla Špetić, L’IDÉE, Mariam Seddiq, Matteau, Nicol & Ford, One Mile, Oroton, Romance Was Born, Rumer, sass & bide, St. Agni, The Curve Edit, The Innovators: Fashion Design Studio TAFE NSW, TORANNCE, We Are Kindred and Wynn Hamlyn, among others.

You can find the full schedule for the week on the AAFW website.


When is fashion week and where is it held?

Sydney's Carriageworks will remain the home of fashion week in Australia. The inaugural AAFW will be held at Carriageworks from May 9 - 13. Some shows will be set in select off-site locations, but most showcases will take place across Carriageworks' set of runways.


How is Afterpay Australian Fashion Week different?

Afterpay Australian Fashion Week will be very much the same as past events - previously known as Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Australia, in line with the event's former headline sponsor.

Although, there will be some key changes around inclusion and accessibility. AAFW made the decision to waive designer fees, which were often a financial barrier for smaller brands. There will be no fees applied to designers, instead designers will be invited to show.

Similarly, fashion week was previously only access by delegates: fashion professionals, media, organisers, buyers and models and other industry professionals. But now, selected parts of the event will be open to the public.

You can see the new vision of fashion week in Australia in the film Afterpay created in collaboration with RUSSH as part of the formal announcement of the new AAFW.


Who can attend Afterpay Australian Fashion Week?

Anyone can now attend AAFW.

“Afterpay is looking forward to enabling a wider consumer audience access to all the runway shows and talks that make up Afterpay Australian Fashion Week: The Experience. Members of the public can not only purchase their tickets and pay for them in four interest free instalments, but purchase directly from the runway, and pay later using Afterpay,” said Nick Molnar, Co-Founder and Co CEO, Afterpay.

Much the of the week will be reserved for professionals that work within the fashion industry. But many of the bigger shows and the talks will be accessible by members of the public through the purchase of ticket.

History of Australian fashion week

Australian fashion week began in 1996. It was founded by PR professional Simon Lock. Mercedes Benz was the first headline sponsor until it passed over to Rosemount Estate wineries in 2006. But in 2011, the sponsorship was passed back to Mercedes Benz and the event was named Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Australia. From October 2020, the event was subsequently named Afterpay Australian Fashion week in line with newest headline sponsor, Afterpay.

Australian fashion week was held at the Overseas Passenger Terminal in Circular Quay for many years before moving to Carriagewords in Eveleigh in 2013.

Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Australia 2020 was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic outbreak. It was set to be the 25th anniversary edition of the historic event.

Some of Australia and the world's biggest designers have showcased at Australian fashion week in the past. Names include Oscar De La Renta, Aje, Christopher Esber and Ellery.

Due to its global placement and event timing, Australian fashion week had drawn some criticism for being out of sync with global fashion. In 2015, the event moved to become a showcase for Resort shows and was moved to May.


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