Hey, this is nice — rather than try to keep up with the Web through digital pop-ups and valet parking, Australian mall operators are going to the source, finding different ways to support the country’s fledgling designers.
AMP Capital, which operates malls throughout Australia, is planning to sponsor the first ever Australian Fashion Council awards, which will bestow $100,000 on an up-and-coming Aussie designer. The company is also helping launch a new magazine that will feature Australian labels. Meanwhile, Westfield is sponsoring several designers during the upcoming Australian Fashion Week, and hosting an Aussie-only pop-up shop in one of its Melbourne malls this summer.
Westfield operates on a global scale and was recently lauded in the U.S. for their digital efforts (a virtual, on-screen store in one of their New Jersey outposts). The company should consider making a similar play in the U.S. as it is doing in Australia, throwing its weight behind young American designers who need the funding.