Sydney Fashion Week to Invite Consumers to Shop the Runway: Will Other Cities Follow Suit?

Australian Fashion Week is moving into Moda Operandi territory with the launch of a new initiative.
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Dhani Mau
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Australian Fashion Week is moving into Moda Operandi territory with the launch of a new initiative.
Getty

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Now that the Internet has made fashion week so much more accessible to the masses, and high street retailers are becoming increasingly adept at rapidly copying runway trends long before the designer versions hit stores, brands are (or should be) looking for ways to cater to consumers during fashion week. And IMG may have come up with a working solution, which will debut next April during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia.

A new, two-day, consumer-focused showcase called Mercedes-Benz Fashion Weekend Edition will follow the runway show schedule which goes from April 7 to 10, WWD reports. The public can purchase tickets to attend the event, held on April 12 and 13. It will include runway shows, stylings sessions, blogger talks and a pop-up for which designers will have produced exclusive merchandise from the collection they just unveiled. It's not unlike the concept shops organized by the British Fashion Council during London Fashion Week -- only this time, shoppers will be able to buy goods straight off the runway, rather than last season's goods.

Its reach is also potentially much greater, as shoppers who can't access the event in person will be able to shop online on the MBFWA platform. It will be up and running for up to six months following the event.

The platform may serve up some competition to Moda Operandi, which also allows fashion lovers to pre-order goods straight off the runway online from an array of fashion capitals. However, orders placed on Moda aren't typically delivered to customers until they're delivered to stores, so, approximately six months later. IMG's e-commerce platform promises delivery in 8 to 10 weeks, which is pretty awesome.

Of course, Australia isn't the only country whose fashion week IMG produces. Will other cities be debuting similar "shop the runway" features in the future? Sounds like it's a strong possibility.

"The learnings from this program will be shared with the global team and form part of the knowledge base for the next incarnation of events in other regions," IMG Fashion director of brand and strategy Elle Turner told WWD. "To ensure we can facilitate future opportunities, the e-commerce platform is being built as a component of the global mbfashionweek.com hub with the capability to manage multiple currencies and languages."

We hope this also means the Australian e-shop will be delivering internationally. There are a lot of great designers in Australia whose wares are frustratingly difficult to find stateside.