Melbourne Fashion Festival has announced PayPal as its new naming rights partner in a three-year deal. 

PayPal joins as naming rights partner following the Festival's separation from its former naming rights partner, Virgin Australia in 2020. 

The PayPal Melbourne Fashion Festival will return to Melbourne from March 3-12 and will bring with it new features, along with much-loved favourites. 

New for the Festival in 2022 is a new home at Federation Square, which will host a dedicated Fashion District and pop-up Fashion Pavillion. 

The space will be home to fashion, food, music and experiences that will draw both Melbournians and visitors to the event. 

New MFF chair Launa Inman said the Festival will continue its heritage of bringing the best in fashion to consumers and industry.

"Now in its 26th year, the PayPal Melbourne Fashion Festival is the longest-running and most culturally significant consumer fashion event in Australia, attracting thousands of fashion lovers and industry leaders to experience the best local brands, designers and retailers in world class runway productions and fashion activations," she said. 

Designers will also benefit directly from the new partnership, with PayPal covering participation fees across the program. 

Additionally, multiple independent designers will be offered bursaries to create work, engage community groups and host their own events as part of the Festival program. 

Consumers attending the event will also experience eased financial pressure, as they can Shop the Runway and split their purchase into four interest-free instalments with no late fees with PayPal's Pay In Four platform. 

"At a time when the fashion industry is recovering from the pandemic and responding to the changing retail landscape, the PayPal partnership will offer consumers increased flexibility, convenience and security in their purchases," MFF CEO Graeme Lewsey commented.

"Consumers spent on average $784 as a result of last year’s Festival, supporting the economic and creative recovery of Victoria and beyond," he said. 

Also new the Festival this year is the introduction of a First Nations Fashion Industry Pathways program as part of an ongoing initiative to provide First Nations people with access and opportunities to work experience in the fashion sector. 

This program goes beyond design and models and is set to offer First Nations people positions in other areas of the fashion industry such as runway production, photography and hair and beauty.

The Independent Runway will this year be hosted at Collingwood Yards, showcasing Melbourne’s diverse range of independent artists and creative communities. 

Returning Festival favourites include premium runway shows, the Gala Runway, the Closing Runway, the National Designer Awards, Fashion Weekend and a range of informative and insightful talks and presentations. 

"PayPal is all about inclusion, innovation and helping Australian businesses thrive, so partnering with the Melbourne Fashion Festival to support homegrown talent, from beloved Australian brands to the next generation of designers, is perfectly aligned with our mission and values," PayPal Australia GM of payments Andrew Toon said. 

The Festival will be launched with a Welcome to Country ceremony at Fed Square. 

The PayPal Melbourne Fashion Festival program will offer a range of free and ticketed, outdoor and indoor, digital and live experiences, in both undiscovered and well-known venues across Melbourne. 

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