Three major innovations at Afterpay Australian Fashion Week 2022

A model on the catwalk during the Adaptive Clothing Collective fashion show during Australian Fashion Week 2022. Credit: AAP/James Gourley

Fashion was hardly business as usual at this year’s Australian Fashion Week, with world premieres, tech integration and diversity galore on the runways at this chic event.

With the controversial buy now, pay later giant Afterpay as the main sponsor, fashion heavyweight week was always going to be anything but boring.

Here are three ways he moved the needle (mind the pun).

A world’s leading fashion brand

Expect to see brand new “Australian Fashion™” the next time you shop overseas. The industry certification is the brainchild of leading Australian fashion and textile industry body Australian Fashion Council (AFC).

For brands to be certified, they must tick two of the following patterns: demonstrate a contribution to employment and the local economy, Australian manufacturing, Australian ownership, majority Australian employees and/or tax domiciled in Australia.

AFC CEO Leila Naja Hibri hopes Australian fashion will embody distinctive associations, like Italian fashion known for its elegance and quality.

“We have now identified four key pillars that set Australian fashion DNA apart: effortless style, raw nature, boundless optimism and fearless innovation,” she said.

“This, along with the trademark, will help us clearly articulate the unique creativity and progressive social and environmental values ​​of Australian fashion on the global fashion stage.”

The very first high fashion NFT

It was the collaboration no one saw coming – Australian cryptocurrency BTC Markets teamed up with Sydney-based fashion designer Daniel Avakian to launch Australia’s first-ever non-fungible haute couture (NFT) token.

The dress paraded on a real model, but also virtually in a hyper-realistic photo-realistic animated avatar format, both being available for immediate purchase.

Indeed, BTC’s official partnership with Australian Fashion Week was the first of its kind in the world, and CEO Caroline Bowler said she hopes it will connect the traditionally male-dominated currency industry with the female-dominated fashion industry.

“I strongly believe that fashion NFTs purchased with cryptocurrency will help secure an exciting new dimension and future for fashion industry players through the symbiotic relationship between the virtual and the physical regarding fashion inspirations. globally relevant real-time mode,” she said.

World’s first quadriplegic fashion designer

Fashion brand Christina Stephens is making history with boundary-pushing adaptive clothing for men and women living with short- or long-term disabilities – accounting for over 20% of the country.

For the first time, Australian Fashion Week showcased its designs in the Adaptive Clothing Collective, which also included designs by JAM the Label, featuring magnetic buttons, zip-up shoes and temperature-controlled fabrics on the catwalk.

Christina Stephens was founded two years ago by Brisbane-based former energy expert turned fashion designer Jessie Sadler, and the brand has since quadrupled retail revenue, increased wholesale and drop-shipping revenue by 300%, and is now selling at major online retailer The Iconic.

“We have plus size fashion in retail, we have maternity, we have so many other categories…one in five Australians have a disability, where are they represented in mainstream fashion?” asked Christina Stephens designer Carol Taylor.

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