Five Minutes With: Cameron Sneddon from WFW

 Wellington Fashion Week founder, Cameron Sneddon

New Zealand’s stylish capital demonstrated it’s fashion clout again in April with another successful Wellington Fashion Week drawing designers from around the country to showcase their collections.

The event saw crowds of Wellingtonians flock to Shed 6 for a runway fix and FashioNZ recently spoke to WFW founder, Cameron Sneddon, about it’s success and his plans for it’s future.

Congratulations on your third successful Wellington Fashion Week, what were your highlights/favourite moments from this year’s event?
There are so many!  I absolutely loved the mix of designers that we had this year, which helped us bring a diverse calendar to this year’s fashion week, full of group and individual shows. Everyone who attended, our sponsors, delegates and the public really enjoyed what was staged – so that must be my first highlight for sure.

This year we brought back an event that supports emerging designers and talents and allows them to get creative and innovative with the use of leather at the NZ Light Leather Fashion Design Awards Show. The entries were above my expectations and everyone loved seeing them in action on the runway, we can’t wait to watch that event grow.

Every year it is always amazing seeing all the hard work come together and catching up with everyone, sometimes the only time I actually catch up with some people from the industry is when we are all under one roof at fashion week!

How has WFW changed in the past three years?
It has definitely grown in the past few years in the scale of its capacity to hold more designers and more events very fast, to think only two years ago we started with 21 designers and 6 events are now working with 60 designers in 23 events, it is big growth and demand for the WFW events calendar.

We are moving into international grounds and started this year with a few experiments with international press to get a feel for what works for WFW, the growth has been wonderful to watch over the years.

What’s a WFW event day like for you?
Busy! I’m a control freak so you won’t see me sitting down anywhere until it’s show time. I love to be a part of it, enjoying the event and getting amongst it with everyone else, you’ll find me hosting a lot as well, so I’m hard to pin down most of the time.

I wish I could say I was more fabulous with outfit changes, bubbles and what not but that just isn’t me. I must say though, I am looking forward to the year I can chill out more and hand over some responsibilities so I can enjoy it with all of the guests and delegates we fly in and have attend – it can be so hard to try and spend time with everyone when you’re running around all over the place.

How do you stay organised with so much to get done?
Pace yourself, and surround yourself with people on the same mission as you and the process starts to become a lot less stressful and way more exciting!

It also comes down to the team and the people behind it and the support in running Wellington Fashion Week each year. It’s a big event and a massive undertaking for everyone who gets on board with it, so key personnel and the right management team keep me on my game.

With everything you do, you need to have people that share the same passion and are on board with it, and every year that is exactly who is behind it keeping the entire event and me, organised and easy flowing.

Putting on a large-scale event takes a lot of time, is WFW a year-round fulltime job for you?

Sure is, I think I’d be losing my mind if I had another job to up keep as well!  I do get that a lot, so funny you ask.  It can come across to some as not time consuming enough to be full time, or a part time on the side job but there is a lot to staging these events, prior and post event – WFW has us doing things people couldn’t even imagine, it’s crazy the work-load at times and what we can unexpectedly get dished out to deal with.

How supportive have you found the local fashion industry of WFW?

The local industry have been fantastic, Wellington really has a great supportive industry here and those that get right into Wellington Fashion Week have been so proactive in supporting the event and helping shape its future. All events around the country need that local drive behind them – it’s important to be supportive at the end of the day, these events do promote the fashion industry. It helps to have the industry involved, supporting and being proactive and working with the event, not just on the runway but in the running as well. That for me, has helped take WFW to where it is now, so a big thank you to the locals!

What are your long-term plans for the event and where do you see its future?

It can be hard to forecast too far into the future with how I see the event being, standing here today I never thought we would be housing 23 events and 60 designers over 5 days – never thought it would have got to that in such a short amount of time.

Our main focus at this stage are bringing back a focus to emerging talent in NZ, developing our trade model further and focusing on more international research – we’ll see where that takes us!


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