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New Zealand Fashion Week 2024 canceled

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - AUGUST 31: A model walks the runway wearing a design by Lontessa during the Go Media MIROMODA 2023 show during New Zealand Fashion Week 23: Kahuria at Viaduct Events Center on August 31, 2023 in Auckland, New Zealand.

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND – AUGUST 31: A model walks the runway wearing a design by Lontessa during the Go Media MIROMODA 2023 show during New Zealand Fashion Week 23: Kahuria at Viaduct Events Center on August 31, 2023 in Auckland, New Zealand.
Photo: Getty Images for New Zealand Fashion Week/Dave Rowland

New Zealand Fashion Week has been canceled for 2024.

The event, a fixture on Auckland’s fashion calendar, would take place in August.

However, the economic crisis and pressure on consumer spending led to the decision to hold the event every two years, rather than every year, New Zealand Fashion Week owner Feroz Ali said.

The next event is expected to take place in the second half of 2025.

“The reality is that consumer confidence is at an all-time low and the fashion retail industry has been particularly hard hit by reduced consumer spending,” Ali said.

“Although we had a strong group of committed designers, we did not have enough for a solid week-long program to make the event viable this year.”

It comes just weeks after designer Kate Sylvester announced she would be closing her business after three decades.

Retail NZ chief executive Carolyn Young said at the time designers were in a difficult situation.

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - AUGUST 31: Models pose backstage before the Kate Sylvester show during New Zealand Fashion Week 23: Kahuria at Viaduct Events Center on August 31, 2023 in Auckland, New Zealand.

Models backstage at the Kate Sylvester show at New Zealand Fashion Week 2023.
Photo: Getty Images for New Zealand Fashion Week/Mackenzie Sweetnam

“What we do know for retail in general is that we are in a really difficult time.”

Centrix CEO Keith McLaughlin said settlements for the retail sector were up 57 percent from this time last year.

“So across (the economy), they are probably the hardest hit of all the sectors,” he said.

“Right now, discretionary spending is being controlled very tightly, so consumers generally don’t buy things they don’t need. This immediately affects some industries, retail being one in particular.”

Ali said designers had told New Zealand Fashion Week organizers they needed dedicated time and space to focus on their core retail business.

“With such strong economic headwinds, it has become clear that this year is a time for consolidation.

“A pause will also allow time to repair the Wynyard Quarter Crossing Bridge; its continued closure presents a significant challenge to public attendance and access to the Viaduct Events Centre.”

Covid-19 caused a four-year hiatus for the event and it did not return to the calendar until 2023.

Ali said it was a “triumphant and successful return” that demonstrated the popular appeal of the event.

However, “the transition to a long-term biennial program reflects the conscious change we see within Aotearoa’s fashion industry,” he said.

“Hosting the event less frequently is a more strategic allocation of resources and allows the sector to achieve its sustainability goals, an important consideration for both designers and our own values.

“We are confident that the revised calendar, produced with the support of our partners, will work well for the industry and Auckland’s events calendar.”

Organizers will provide updates on the 2025 dates in the coming months, he said.