Started in 1996 by then-CEO and Founder Simon Lock the event, officially known as Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia due to naming Mercedes-Benz’s acquisition of naming rights, has become a high profile media moment on Australia’s fashion calendar. Largely promoting established talent, the event also acts as a showcase for young, up-and-coming Australian designers and their labels.
From 2005 Simon Lock sold Mercedes Australian Fashion Week and its parent company Australian Fashion Innovators to the New York-based International Management Group. Lock declined to reveal the size of the deal, which industry sources estimated could have been worth “several million dollars”, or to reveal whether he has an equity stake in IMG FASHION Asia Pacific.
In 2007 many major Australian fashion designers, who had previously shown at Australian Fashion Week, were not included in the schedule. These included the likes of Zimmerman, Sass & Bide, Wayne Cooper, Morrissey, Leona Edmiston, Akira and Toni Maticevski. Most would return in 2008, however, with IMG providing much more comprehensive schedule as a part of their rebuilding of the event.
In 2008, Australian Fashion Week was hosted by Rosemount, displaying big names such as Alex Perry, Akira and the return of Sass & Bide launching their new label Sass & Bide Vie.
In 2016-17 fashion trends of Australian women change from time to time.