Lucas Dawson Photography

The Melbourne Fashion Festival has announced that Virgin Australia is the new Principal Partner and Naming Rights Partner of the annual festival.

Entering its 18th year in 2014, the Festival will once again take place in March, attracting visitors from across Australia and around the world. In addition to the Festival’s curated program of runways, workshops and business events running from 17-23 March 2013, a diverse ‘Cultural Program’ of free and ticketed activities will also run throughout the entire month of March.

The new naming rights partnership signals the beginning of an exciting chapter for the Festival that will see the delivery of a new naming convention, the ‘Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival’, a revised logo and most importantly a long-term relationship that markets the event nationally and globally. This includes the evolution of the Festival’s retail tourism strategy and a ‘fly in and shop’ mechanic that will promote visitation to Victoria for one of the country’s most celebrated major events.

The Festival has championed a fleet of initiatives that support and connect the Australian fashion and creative industries, showcasing and amplifying designers locally and globally while inspiring consumers and celebrating retailers. These include the prestigious National Designer Award presented by Tiffany & Co, Red Carpet Runway, National Graduate Showcase (with a new presenting partner soon to be announced), the extensive Cultural Program including the Fashion Film Series, the Business Events Series with over five unique offerings, a brand new secondary school initiative and the Festival’s ‘Shop the Runway’ – the original technology breakthrough enabling consumers to purchase looks direct from the runway.

In 2013 the Festival experienced its most successful year to date attracting almost 380,000 attendees to 149 programmed events and achieved over $63.5 million dollars worth of audited media coverage, the highest result on record.

Owing an enormous part of the Festival’s annual success to its Naming Rights Partnership with L’Oréal Paris, the Festival team, its dedicated Board of Directors and the Festival’s key stakeholders are thrilled to announce that L’Oréal Paris is the exclusive Beauty Partner and a Major Partner of the Festival. Most importantly one of the longest partnerships Australia has seen will continue into the future and positively evolve.

Festival Chairman, Laura Anderson says “On behalf of the Festival Board, I’m thrilled to welcome Virgin Australia as the new naming rights partner of the Festival. This strategic alignment will enable the evolution of Festival on a global stage and showcase the vibrant destination of Melbourne. Importantly, I would like to acknowledge the tremendous support and commitment from our dear friends at L’Oréal Paris who we treasure and look forward to continuing to build the Festival with them and our wonderful new friends at Virgin Australia.”

The Hon. Louise Asher Minister Tourism and Major Events says “I am delighted that Virgin Australia has joined the Festival as both Principal and Naming Rights Partner. This partnership will enable the Festival to take its connections and profile to yet another level in both the national and importantly, overseas markets. I am very pleased that Virgin Australia has chosen to align the brand with the Melbourne Fashion Festival and the vibrant destination of Melbourne. Thank you also to L’Oréal Paris for their support as Naming Rights Partner over many years in helping to position one of Melbourne’s leading events on the global stage and we look forward to L’Oréal’s continued support as the beauty partner.”

Virgin Australia Chief Commercial Officer, Judith Crompton says “We are delighted to partner with this iconic event, which shares our values of innovation, style and our commitment to fostering emerging and established local, Australian talent. As a full-service airline, we are uniquely placed to captivate new audiences in Australia and around the world, allowing us to further support tourism in Victoria and evolve the Festival on the world stage. We are working closely with the Festival to come up with new and unique ways to promote the events across our channels both in the air and on the ground. We look forward to welcoming the attendees on board next year.”

Festival CEO, Graeme Lewsey says “What a remarkable day to be in a position to announce two strategic partnerships that launch an exciting new era for the Festival and the future of the Australian fashion and retail industries. As we welcome Virgin Australia to the Festival family I’m also thrilled to be able to continue our prosperous relationship with L’Oréal Paris. We are truly honoured to be in this position, to learn from and work with two of the world’s most innovative and inspiring brands and tactically deliver genuine benefits to our creative industries, Australian designers, retailers and consumers alike.”

L’Oréal Australia Managing Director, Johan Berg says “At L’Oréal Paris we have enjoyed a remarkable journey with the Festival and are extremely proud to have been involved in the growth and ongoing success of this fantastic event. We have been an active partner of the Festival since its inception and we remain extremely committed to the event and the Australian fashion industry, moving forward. We will continue to support the Festival as the exclusive beauty partner and you can be assured our famous L’Oréal Paris Powder Room and always-popular L’Oréal Paris Beauty Workshops will be back in 2014. We look forward to working with the Festival team, Virgin Australia and all the Festival partners to celebrate Australia’s leading consumer fashion event next March. ”

The new Festival program highlights for 2014, campaign creative and website will be revealed at the forthcoming Campaign Launch on the evening of Wednesday 4 December 2013. More details around these extraordinary new partnerships will also be revealed. Tickets will be on sale to the general public from this date through Ticketek or online at

About The Author

Gemma Watts

Gemma Watts has worked in the fashion media industry since 2012, writing for and being headhunted by some of the country's leading fashion and beauty companies. With a Diploma of Professional Writing and Editing and a Bachelor of Communication (Journalism) under her belt, Gemma is able to combine her two greatest passions as Couturing's Fashion Editor- fashion and writing.

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