Creative Industries


27 November 2017

Australia’s only accelerator program solely dedicated to fashion entrepreneurs is preparing for its 2018 program intake.  Applications for the Fashion360 program close on December 17.

Run by QUT Creative Enterprise Australia (CEA), the Fashion360 accelerator program supports and mentors fashion entrepreneurs with real-life industry knowledge and experience in a high-tech environment.

Unlike other fashion programs, Fashion360 acts as an accelerator 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 ensure the viability of the business is sustained.

“The ways in which we buy and consume fashion are changing,” CEA fashion development  manager Thuy Nguyen said.

“Australians are the world’s second largest consumers of textiles, after North America, and we enjoy spending $5.1 billion in clothing each year.

"Staying up-to-date with 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 fashion choices.

“Amazon is preparing for its first launch into the Australian market through their fashion brands.

"It will be an 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 gives 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.

Acting CEA CEO Mark Gustowski said business support frameworks for emerging Australian designers had been relatively non-existent.

"Many design courses are 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,” Mr Gustowski said.

“The team at the 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.”

Pictured above: Design by Lorraine White of Whitelane at the Fashion360 Accelerator Showcase for the fashion industry.

Applications for the Fashion360 program close on December 17.

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Creative Industries Faculty

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