In another blow for the struggling local fashion industry, Brisbane’s coveted Mercedes-Benz Fashion Festival has been cancelled over COVID-19 fears.
In another blow for the struggling local fashion industry, Brisbane’s coveted Mercedes-Benz Fashion Festival has been cancelled over COVID-19 fears.

Fashion festival called off due to virus

BRISBANE'S elite fashion week has been cancelled due to uncertainty around COVID-19.

The announcement comes as another blow for the struggling fashion industry as the coveted Mercedes-Benz Fashion Festival has confirmed the cancellation of it's week-long event set to be held in August.

Bec Clauson in Sass & Bide at last year’s Mercedes-Benz Fashion Festival.
Bec Clauson in Sass & Bide at last year’s Mercedes-Benz Fashion Festival.

MBFF, which attracts fashionistas to the Howard Smith Wharves for elite runway shows, celebrates and showcases Queensland's fashion designers and retailers, both established and emerging.

Organisers of the event were hoping the fashion festival could have gone ahead by August as a "beacon" for struggling local designers and retailers who have been forced to close their doors and rely on online sales.

Tracey Watkins and Anna Stokes at the Mercedes Benz Fashion Festival launch party at Fantauzzo last year. Picture: AAP Image/Richard Gosling
Tracey Watkins and Anna Stokes at the Mercedes Benz Fashion Festival launch party at Fantauzzo last year. Picture: AAP Image/Richard Gosling

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Festival Brisbane Director Lindsay Bennett said pulling the plug due to the uncertainty around COVID-19 measures was an "extremely difficult decision to make".

"While we hope that the world is past the peak of this terrible pandemic and well on its way to recovery soon, it is just too uncertain right now how long social distancing measures will need to be kept in place, and what kind of financial position the industry will be in at the time the Fashion Festival was planned to go ahead," Bennett said.

Queensland model Jett Kenny wearing Aqua Blu swimwear ahead of last year’s Mercedes-Benz Fashion Festival Brisbane. Picture: Mark Cranitch.
Queensland model Jett Kenny wearing Aqua Blu swimwear ahead of last year’s Mercedes-Benz Fashion Festival Brisbane. Picture: Mark Cranitch.

"We would not want to put our designers and sponsors in the position of preparing for the event, with the possibility of it needing to be cancelled last-minute. Many industries, including our local Queensland and Australian fashion industries, are in an extremely difficult position right now.

"Our hope was to provide the Fashion Festival as a beacon for the industry and to invite designers and our fashion-loving public for a much-needed celebration come August, so we are truly devastated to have to make this call. However, the health, safety and wellbeing of all involved is our utmost priority."

Organisers are encouraging shoppers to support the local industry by buying online and supporting local brands during the global health crisis.

Originally published as Brisbane fashion festival cancelled