Investing in the Future of Australian Fashion
Fashion360 Accelerator – open for applications
Australia’s only accelerator program solely dedicated to fashion entrepreneurs is preparing for its 2018 program intake.
Run by QUT Creative Enterprise Australia (CEA), the Fashion360 accelerator program will support and mentor fashion entrepreneurs with real-life industry knowledge and experience in a high-tech environment.
Unlike other fashion programs, Fashion360 acts as an accelerator in its very literal sense – to advance designers that already have a concept and guide them through the next stages of growth with all the necessary business and industry components that will ensure the viability of the business is sustained.
“The ways in which we buy and consume fashion are changing,” says Thuy Nguyen, Fashion Development Manager at CEA.
“Australian’s are the world’s second largest consumers of textiles, after North America, and we enjoy spending $28.5 million in clothing each year. Staying up to date with the latest fashions and trends is no longer about walking into your nearest retailer; there are many more global, online and even environmental influences that come into play when it comes to making fashionable choices.”
“Amazon is preparing for its first launch into the Australian market through their fashion brands. It will be a very interesting transition to watch in a marketplace where other well known Australian brands such as Marcs and David Lawrence have previously struggled against the global fashion giants like Zara, H&M and Uniqlo. Even Topshop couldn’t sustain a presence in the Australian market.”
“Striking the perfect balance between creativity and setting clear business strategies needs to be at the primary consideration for every designer looking to ensure their business is one of longevity”.
The six month Fashion360 program will give early-stage fashion entrepreneurs access to weekly workshops and masterclasses coupled with one-on-one coaching through a holistic 360 degree view of the industry. The intensive program will prepare designers to be market-ready and present their range in a runway showcase where they will unveil their finished collection to a curated panel of fashion industry leaders. As part of the program they will have access to world class mentoring, 24/7 access to the Stitch Lab space with industrial facilities and participate in industry networking events.
“The business support frameworks for emerging Australian designers have been relatively non-existent. There are many design courses offered across the country turning out incredible talent but from there those designers often lack the necessary business skills and direction to translate their labels into viable business ventures”, says Acting CEO Mark Gustowski of CEA.
“The team at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) and CEA recognised this market gap years ago and went to work conceptualising the only fashion accelerator model in the country to make sure that the transition of skills from tertiary to business was in place to support the evolution of the fashion ecosystem.”
“We’ve been very encouraged by the mindset of the designers coming through the accelerator program who have overwhelmingly demonstrated a great commitment to driving stronger fashion practices. We’re pleased to be contributing to the development of their fashion startups and how they can be environmentally conscious while driving a global fashion business and label.”
Applications for the Fashion360 accelerator close on December 17.