IMG has announced the preliminary schedule for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia (MBFWA) 2019, taking place May 12 to 18 at Carriageworks in Sydney.

MBFWA will debut resort 2020 collections from local, emerging and international labels.

From 2017 to 2018, MBFWA saw 35% increase in international media attendance, 5% increase in global buyer attendance, and 13% increase in designer participation – both on the runway and via The Suites.

Designers were announced at the schedule launch event on Monday 25 March, held at Rosetta, The Rocks, Sydney.

Aje will open MBFWA 2019 with the Mercedes-Benz Presents show on Sunday May 12, while Bec & Bridge will open the first day of shows on Monday May 13.

Numerous Australian designers will return to the schedule including Albus Lumen, Alice McCall, Anna Quan, Bec & Bridge, Double Rainbouu, Hansen and Gretel, Justin Cassin, Lee Mathews, Leo & Lin, Mariam Seddiq, TAFE NSW Fashion Design Studio, Thurley and We Are Kindred.

TAFE NSW Fashion Design School will celebrate 21 years showing at MBFWA.

Lee Mathews will celebrate 20 years and Alice McCall 15 years in business with their 2019 shows.

Tigerlily returns to MBFWA after 17 years, having last showed in 2002, while menswear designer Justin Cassin is celebrating his third consecutive show, returning to the schedule after officially launching in China, Singapore and South Korea.

Designers debuting on the schedule this year include Bondi Born, Ex Infinitas, Matteau, Pared Eyewear and American designer Jonathan Simkhai.

Ex Infinitas has confirmed Off-White image director and creative consultant to Kanye West will creative direct its show.

St.George NEXTGEN will provide emerging designers an opportunity to show in front of an international audience; this season’s participating designers are Benjamin Garg, Chloe Mottau, Madison Hislop and Brian Huynh for MNDATORY.

The Suites at MBFWA will return for a third year, offering participating designers exclusive trade showroom appointments with global buyers, media and industry professionals who support in sales and brand promotion.

In 2017, The Suites’ inaugural year, participating designers held 720 sales appointments representing an approximate total investment of $770,000 AUD, and in 2018 participating designers almost doubled.

To date, The Suites will feature designers to include: Best Jumpers, Cleonie Swim, Duskii, Et Cetera, Fillyboo, Jasmine Alexa, Le Buns, Maison De Sabre, Mountain and Moon, Natalie Rolt, Nique, Pared Eyewear, P.E Nation, Silk Laundry, Tigerlily, Twoobs and We Are Kindred.

Now in its 24th year, IMG has again engaged the support of the New South Wales (NSW) Government for MBFWA 2019.

IMG Fashion Asia-Pacific executive director Natalie Xenita said the week long event continues to cement Sydney as a top fashion and resort destination

“We are thrilled to welcome a diverse and talented group of seasoned and emerging designers to the fourth season of MBFWA Resort.

"The continued support from the domestic and international fashion community for these designers, their collections and Sydney as a Resort destination makes this event one of the fashion world’s finest.

"We look forward to welcoming the industry to our newly-imagined runway showrooms at Carriageworks this year, which we continue to evolve each year to provide designers with world-class facilities to showcase their resort collections to Australia and the world.”

Destination NSW Chief Executive Officer Sandra Chipchase said the 2019 MBFWA schedule will put Sydney in the spotlight among industry and media.

“As the Strategic Sponsor of MBFWA, the NSW Government’s tourism and major events agency Destination NSW is committed to keeping Sydney as the fashion capital of Australia and the 2019 schedule certainly reflects that.

"It’s fantastic to see NSW-born, internationally renowned brands Alice McCall and Bec & Bridge return to the schedule among many outstanding NSW, national and international labels.

"The line-up represents the best in the business while also providing a global platform for emerging talent, all of which will unfold with iconic Sydney as the backdrop.”

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