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Inaugural ADL Fashion Week puts South Australian fashion in the spotlight

Designers involved in ADL Fashion Week 2022 boasted record sales and engagement, as more than 800 people attended 15 events across four days as part of the inaugural festival.

Foot traffic during the three-day Adelaide’s Biggest Shopping Event increased six per cent in Rundle Mall, while it doubled on Rundle Street in comparison to the same period in 2021.

ADL Fashion Week, held between 6 – 9 October 2022, featured a program of bespoke events that showcased more than 50 of South Australia’s emerging, ready-to-wear and couture designers.

Plans for next year’s event are already in the works.

Sunset Lover Owner Melanie Flintoft showed off her new sustainable label at East End favourite, Mother Vine.

Ms Flintoft said ADL Fashion Week provided an “incredible” platform to increase overall brand awareness.

“Not only did our sales double during that week, but our social media following grew by 65 per cent,” Ms Flintoft said.

“We were thrilled to be a part of the festival and it was exciting to watch our brand shine.”

Local fashion brand The Wolf Gang, which largely operates online, said the event gave the label a chance to interact with customers.

It had a pop-up on the mall during the event and has since extended its stay until mid-November.

“Our presence in Rundle Mall during AFW and beyond has contributed not only to our sales turnover but has also provided invaluable brand exposure in Adelaide’s most prominent retail precinct,” The Wolf Gang Creative Director Vanessa Pearce said.

“As a digitally-native brand, the opportunity to interact with shoppers and introduce them to The Wolf Gang’s brand story has allowed us to form memorable connections with our customers, and most importantly has seen a consistent increase in our South Australian website traffic across all metrics."

“We are thrilled to see an increase in the number of users, new users, number of sessions, session duration, and transactions, and these numbers continue to rise week on week, following the 5 October opening of our pop-up shop during AFW.”

Key events in the program included the official launch lunch at Fishbank with a live performance by rising Adelaide-based singer Elsy Wameyo, and an intimate dinner at Sôl Rooftop at SkyCity to celebrate 90 years of iconic brand R.M.Williams.

More than 200 people attended The Art of Fashion event at the Art Gallery of South Australia, which put 40 South Australian designers under the spotlight.

Adelaide’s Biggest Shopping Event highlighted Rundle Mall and Rundle Street as premier shopping destinations.

The gift with purchase activation in Rundle Mall, which required shoppers to spend over $150 across Rundle Mall and Rundle Street, saw over 2,000 gifts given away, with the average spend per customer tripling the typical annual average on Mall.

Sustainability was also celebrated as part of Slow Lounge Saturday at The Fashion Est. In North Adelaide, as well as in an advanced screening ofFashion Reimagined in collaboration with the Adelaide Film Festival.

Meanwhile, the South Australian Fashion Industry Association (SAFIA) and AEDA hosted a joint industry breakfast event at the at the Mayfair Hotel to highlight the importance of education within the fashion sector.

AEDA Managing Director Ian Hill said support from the fashion community, from both South Australia and beyond, was extraordinary.

He said AFW cemented itself as a premier fashion and shopping festival and looked forward to seeing it return and grow as one of the state’s most prominent festivals in years to come.

“Fashion is all about trying new things, reshaping, and reworking old models and breaking down barriers. AFW is a perfect example of this, and this is what AEDA as a subsidiary also strives to do,” Mr Hill said.

“Retailers, big and small, had four days of strong trade and some attracted a clientele they would not usually see after they attended events where their products were showcased.”

Viktoria & Woods also opened its Adelaide flagship on Rundle Street during the event and online powerhouse BNKR opened a pop-up in the Adelaide Arcade.