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 15 – 19 May 2023.

Launching off the success of last two seasons, with the event championing a fresh-faced look as the newly-branded Afterpay Australian Fashion Week, here at RUSSH we're bringing you everything you need to know about Australia's biggest week in fashion.

With the news of the 2023 schedule dropping this morning, March 21, we already had a sweet taste of what's to come with the news that New Zealand brand, Maggie Marilyn, will be making its runway debut at AAFW 2023.

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 2022? From the incredible street style that had us inspired for weeks on end, to invaluable conversations on the importance of the Indigenous Fashion Projects. Otherwise, you can revisit our collection highlights, from Jordan Dalah, Jordan GogosRomance Was Born and All Is A Gentle Spring. 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 2022 night of glamour as shot by Ella Jane and Ruby Rai.

Afterpay Australian Fashion Week schedule

The AAFW 2023 schedule has finally landed! This year's event will begin with a Welcome to Country, followed by the opening show by Alemais.

Following on for the rest of week will see an offering of 45 live runway shows and presentations, showcasing an offering of some of the industry's veteran's alongside up-and-coming designers that we can't keep our eyes off.

“The 2023 schedule features the next generation of Australian designers defining the future of Australian fashion alongside some of the industry’s biggest names and celebrates the ingenuity and unmatched creative talent of our country,” said Natalie Xenita, Vice President-Managing Director of IMG Fashion Events and Properties, Asia-Pacific.

“The Australian fashion industry is a global powerhouse and AAFW in Sydney is its keystone. IMG is proud to support Australian designers and creatives no matter what stage of their career journey they are at.”

Designer shows include:

Acler, Albus Lumen, ALÉMAIS, Alix Higgins, Aje, Anna Quan, Asiyam, Auteur, BEC + BRIDGE, Bianca Spender, Blanca, BONDI BORN, Caroline Reznik, Christian Kimber, Christopher Esber, COMMAS, Gail Sorronda, Haulier, Henne, INJURY, Indigenous Fashion Projects, Jordan Dalah, macgraw, Mariam Seddiq, Nicol & Ford, Phoebe Pendergast, Speed, St. Agni, Verner, Wackie Ju, Wynn Hamlyn, Youkhana, and Yousef Akbar, 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 15 - 19. 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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