Melbourne Fashion Festival 201418 March 2014
The Victorian Coalition Government today welcomed the opening of the Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival, the premier retail and consumer fashion event in Australia.
Tourism Minister Louise Asher confirmed that the Victorian Government was once again the major sponsor of the festival, a productive collaboration which began in 1997.
"The Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival is one of the highlights of Melbourne's major event calendar, stimulating retail and tourism while show casing established and emerging local designers.
"Over the years, the Melbourne Fashion Festival has become a key celebration of our nation's fashion, design and creative endeavours, set in the premier retail capital of Australia.
"Melbourne has an enviable reputation as a destination shopping city. Many interstate and international guests are drawn to our global brands, local designer fashion and quirky concept stores around the city’s laneways, arcades and markets.
"The festival's broad economic impact is directly felt in Victoria’s retail, textile, clothing and footwear sectors. This stimulus then flows into the tourism and hospitality sector, job creation and business development.
"The Victorian retail sector is worth over $65 billion annually and employs over 330,000 people, making it one of the largest employers in the state.
"The 2013 Festival was the most successful to date, attracting almost 380,000 attendees to 149 programmed events and achieving more than $63.5 million worth of audited media coverage.
"The Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival (VAMFF) is a not-for-profit organisation and I commend the work of the VAMFF team and the commitment of the volunteer Board of Directors, which is led by its excellent Chair Laura Anderson,” Ms Asher said.
Melbourne has attracted a range of global top-end stores in the past 12 months including Muji, Uniqlo, H&M, Dolce&Gabbana, Dior, T.M Lewin, Williams-Sonoma's West Elm and Abercrombie & Fitch'’s Hollister.
The Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival runs during March with core events held from 17 to 23 March. This year’s festival events are occurring across Melbourne as well as in Ballarat, Mildura, Bendigo, Castlemaine and Rutherglen.