“We are all in this together”: Aussie fashion brands band together

Iconic Australian designer Carla Zampatti (Supplied)

More than 70 Australian fashion brands including iconic names, such as Carla Zampatti, Ellery and Viktoria and Woods, have joined forces to encourage shoppers to support local design during the global coronavirus pandemic.

Launching today, the We Wear Australian campaign will see participating designers offering discounts on new-season merchandise and making a cash or clothing donation to Dress for Success and Thread Together.

Brands are hoping the campaign will drive online sales, in the absence of bricks-and-mortar trading and the cancellation of wholesale orders.

“It [is] about driving sales to assist with urgent cashflow and supporting the community at the same time,” Richard Poulson, the co-founder of Morrison, who is leading the initiative, told Inside Retail.

“We are Australian and we love Australia.”

The idea for the campaign came out of a series of weekly “crisis calls” that Poulson started with fashion brands and retailers about four weeks ago.

The calls have helped the Australian design community to identify opportunities, share checklists and have the confidence to make difficult decisions, such as closing stores.

Poulson believes it’s not the time to closely guard your business plans, it’s time to collaborate.

“We are all in this together, so my belief is that we all have the same issues, whether it be business, family or personal and being able to share experiences with each other will help each of us to get through this crisis,” he said. “We need to look after each other.”

Like many fashion businesses, Morrison has closed all 10 of its bricks-and-mortar stores and laid off 75 per cent of its staff with access to leave provisions.

Poulson said the brand is performing “quite well” online, and that this is supporting the functions of the business.

Leila Naja Hibri, CEO of the Australian Fashion Council, said it was wonderful to see the brands step up and come together.

“For those who can, please support your favorite Australian designer by buying Australian and wearing Australian. Help Australian Fashion unite, help Australian Fashion survive.”

The We Wear Australian campaign will run for three weeks until April 30.

Participating brands include: A-j-e, Bassike, Camilla, Carla Zampatti, Ellery, Esse Studios, Ginger & Smart, Kit-X, Manning Cartell, Matin Studio, Matteau, MJ Bale, Morrison, Nique, Nobody Denim, R.M.Williams, Sir The Label, Strateas Carlucci, Ten pieces, The Daily Edited, The Upside, Rebecca Vallance, Viktoria & Woods, We Are Kindred, Wolfgang Scout and more.

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