FREE|STYLE: Three big changes at MBFWA plus fitness fashion frenzy


Lisa Ho, Kym Ellery and models at Carriageworks.

Looks a bit like an air kiss when you see it in text, doesn’t it?!  MBFWA (Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia) have finally announced their dates for 2013, as well as a new venue, Carriageworks (‘Sydney’s atmospheric former Eveleigh rail yards’) in Redfern.  The great news is that at 8 April to 12 April, it will not clash with the L’Oréal Melbourne Fashion Festival, due to take place the week of 18-24 March.

2013 will be MBFWA’s 18th year, and IMG says that the move to April will bring the event timing into line with ‘the lucrative high summer buying period.”  Another innovation will be the incorporation of  an expanded trade show element – the PREMIERE trade event for boutique brands, will relocate to Carriageworks and will run concurrently with MBFWA.

There’s a lot of activity (pun intended) in the fitness fashion arena.  Last Friday MediaJam hosted fashion media at Eden Terrace gym Ludus Magnus, for an hour unleashing their inner gladiators in the name of new gymwear brand FITforever, and ‘women-specific shaping protein’ Body.


Ellie Goulding


This week Nike are holding the ‘Ellie Runs’ event and sending guests along to the Ellie Goulding show for good measure.  Goulding is described as ‘One of the most original sounds of pop music in recent times”, and famously sang a cover of Elton John's Your Song during the royal wedding last year as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge enjoyed their first dance as husband and wife.


Adidas #mygirls training with David Tua.  Sara Tetro at left, Bronwyn Williams at right.

Image c/- Facebook/mygirlsnz


If you’re not puffed yet, this coming Sunday fashion writer/stylist Brownyn Williams and 62 Models/New Zealand’s Next Top Model host Sara Tetro will run the Auckland marathon together with the four other notable women in Adidas’ mygirls campaign.  FREE|STYLE will report on the ladies’ times, next week.


Kate Sylvester


Kate Sylvester has been named designer judge for the DHL Express Fashion Export Scholarship, and Carolyn Enting – former longtime Fashion Editor for the Dominion Post and now Associate Editor at MINDFOOD, will fill the ‘respected media’ judging spot.  They join Kim Crawford’s Erica Crawford as well as TBA for sponsor DHL and Paul Blomfield for organiser FINZ (Fashion Industry New Zealand) on the panel, which will be judging three finalists and a winner at the end of this month.

Past designers to have taken a judging role are Trelise Cooper, Liz Findlay and Margi Robertson, and Zoe Walker (Features editor – Viva) and Fiona Hawtin (Fashion Quarterly) were the media judges in 2008 and 2009 respectively.

Carl Thompson, who formerly designed his label Crowded Elevator, has just launched TradeGecko, a cloud-based inventory and sales management SaaS (aka ‘on-demand software’) application for SMEs.  Designed to pull together the administration that goes with running a wholesale business in a more social and engaging way, TradeGecko has “re-designed dull business management and created a unique application that focuses on team engagement, workflows and activity feeds.”


TradeGecko team – Bradley Priest, Cameron Priest and Carl Thompson


“We’ve taken complex business processes and applied our user-first design theory to create an application that is beautiful and easy to use.” Says CEO Cameron Priest.  He says that TradeGecko is a cost effective solution for SMEs that want to move off spreadsheets but can’t afford existing solutions.

Co-founder Thompson says noone knows better than he, how importers, distributors, wholesalers, manufacturers and designer-makers need a solution to manage their administration.  “Running Crowded Elevator was exciting and I enjoyed it a lot. But we grew very fast and the amount of administration quickly overwhelmed us.” he says.  “I couldn’t find a solution to pull it all together. Spreadsheets and manual data processing turned into an absolute nightmare.”

Nick Von K jewellers are already using Trade Gecko and say it has streamlined and connected the invoicing and inventory side of the business. “It’s made everything so much easier,” says Anja P.

Priest, Thompson and third team member, Priest’s brother Bradley, moved to Singapore in search of opportunities, and in In May this year they completed the 2012 JFDI one hundred day business incubator program by pitching to around one hundred investors. They are now closing their first round of funding, with more details to be announced.

– Julie Roulston


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