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Five stylish start-ups to emerge from Sydney’s Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week

Wednesday, 10 April 2013 | By Michelle Hammond

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia is in full swing in Sydney, showcasing the industry’s top talent, although a number of lesser-known businesses and entrepreneurs are also catching the eye.


MBFWA, which runs until April 12, is being held at Carriageworks – a former rail yard now regarded as an arts and culture hub.


The event showcases the contemporary spring/summer collections of Australia’s leading designer brands. It is also an opportunity for smaller industry players to make themselves known.


Here is a handful of the hottest names coming out of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia 2013.


1. Jasu.com


This year, Fashion Week designer shows are being broadcast direct to audiences around the world, following a partnership with Jasu.com.


Launched in 2012, Jasu.com describes itself as a fashion eCommerce platform and lifestyle content channel, stocking more than 50 Australian designer brands.


In addition to broadcasting shows to any computer or mobile device, Jasu.com has a purpose-built live site situated in the heart of Sydney’s CBD.

“Our partnership with Jasu.com [is] enabling live, real time engagement with the runway action for fans around the world,” said Jarrad Clark, director of global production at IMG Fashion Events and Properties.


2. Nelson Nghe


Nelson Nghe, a 25-year-old student at the University of New South Wales, was named the winner of the Peroni Young Designer Awards.


Nghe created a cocktail dress featuring the brewer’s signature blue ribbon.


As the winner of these awards, Nghe received $10,000, which will go towards developing his career in fashion. His winning design will also be on display throughout Fashion Week.


3. Aje


In February, Australian wine company Tempus Two announced an exclusive partnership with local fashion label Aje, which has been around for a few years.


Tempus Two is the official wine partner of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia.


“As a proud partner and supporter of the Australian fashion industry, establishing a relationship with one of the country’s most exciting fashion labels made perfect sense,” said Tempus Two senior brand manager Kate Kriven.


“Our shared values of affordable luxury, style, elegance, innovation and sophistication made Aje the perfect brand fit for Tempus Two.”


According to Aje designer Edwina Robinson, Tempus Two is a “beautiful blend of traditional values and unique innovation”.


“We feel there is a wonderful synergy between our two companies, and working together is a fantastic opportunity to think outside of the square,” she said.


4. Fresh Catering


Fresh Catering – the official catering partner of Fashion Week – has been serving a selection of culinary delights at several outlets, including a pop-up restaurant called Fresh at the Hub.


“We are delighted to be a part of the Australian fashion industry’s most important event of the year,” said Fresh Catering managing director Peter McCloskey.


“What’s really exciting for us is the scale and complexity of our catering partnership.


“Over the five-day event, we are presenting a number of diverse food and beverage concepts from sophisticated corporate hospitality in the private dining room [to] a pop-up 100-seat restaurant, Fresh at the Hub, which features daily changing menus.”


5. Candice Lake and Jessica Stein


It seems style bloggers have become celebrities in their own right, with the likes of Candice Lake and Jessica Stein being photographed more than the models at the designer shows.


Lake is an Australian-born photographer, blogger and model based in London. She began her blog candicelake.com back in 2011.


Stein, meanwhile, is the Sydney-based blogger behind Tuula Vintage, which describes itself as a “personal diary of wanderlust and an overflowing wardrobe”.