With the advent of Instagram and Twitter — and the fashion industry’s embrace thereof — global fashion weeks have gotten exponentially more accessible to the masses, but for the big four (New York, Milan, London, and Paris) you still need an invite to actually attend. Australia, however, is taking the opposite approach, using its own Fashion Week as a way to engage with Sydney residents.
Front row seat invites aren’t exactly being sent to the public at large, but show organizers are working directly with the city of Sydney to make the event widely viewable and attractive. Besides broadcasting all the shows on a giant screen set up in a public square, a pop-up bar is being set up next to the event, so people can watch the runways with a drink in hand. Meanwhile, IMG, which helps organize the shows, will compile every tweet, Facebook post, and Instagram picture associated with the Fashion Week into one giant social media conglomeration, accessible on the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week site. And of course, because everyone wants to buy everything right away, Australian online retailer Jasu (who will be hosting the shows’ livestreams) will also be selling many of the collections instantly.
Are New Yorkers going to get a pop-up bar outside the tents at Lincoln Center anytime soon? Probably not, but it’s worth noting that Australian Fashion Week is under the same Mercedes-Benz sponsorship as New York’s. Even if the two cities’ cultural approaches are different, with the same entity making the shows possible, we can hope some of Sydney’s goings-on eventually make their way to New York.