iD show in line for changes

Margo Barton
Margo Barton
The organisers of Dunedin's iD Fashion Show say the event has become too big for the volunteers behind its success, and change is needed.

It was confirmed yesterday the iD Dunedin Fashion Inc board was undertaking a strategic review which aimed to make changes for next year's event.

That included shifting the event to a winter date, in June or July, and focusing on delivering the Emerging Designers show in 2020, board co-chairwoman Margo Barton said.

The changes - along with others to be identified during the review process - aimed to make the show more "sustainable", she said.

The show relied on a cast of "amazing" volunteers, including on its board, and had delivered a small surplus in "extraordinary" circumstances this year, she said.

However, the show had also grown to the point it was unsustainable for the army of volunteers involved each year, she believed.

"Because the event has got so much bigger over the years, there are so many more moving parts.

"It is too much for the volunteers, and that includes the board," she said.

The review began in April, following the completion of the 2019 show in March, and was expected to be finished by September, Dr Barton said.

The review would include a "summit" of stakeholders next month, but some changes were already on the cards, including the shift to a winter date, she confirmed.

That was based on advice from Enterprise Dunedin, among other tourism stakeholders, who said it would help attract visitors to the city at a quieter time of the year, she said.

The change would also be good for the event, which had grappled with an accommodation squeeze due to a logjam of other events in previous years, Dr Barton said.

"We've been advised that would be a really good time for us to have the event ... good for the city in terms of spreading things out.

"I think it would [also] be really good for the event."

There were no plans to consider relocating the show to another centre and the board was committed to staging the Emerging Designers show next year, given its "global reputation", she said.

The rest of the week-long event was "part of our strategic review", but one option could be to bring in other parties to deliver aspects of the show.

Asked if downsizing was an option, Dr Barton said she preferred "refocus" as a description, but it was too soon to comment.

"That's part of the strategic review, to understand what our best way forward is, because we definitely want to go forward," Dr Barton said.

"We are all committed to the event as a whole, to local designers, to established designers and to the international emerging designers."

Details of the review emerged as the Dunedin City Council yesterday announced 12 premier and major community events together allocated $500,000 in funding.

The iD Fashion Show was noticeably absent from the list, and council staff confirmed an application for funding for the show had been withdrawn.

Dr Barton said it would now be submitted to next year's funding round, in time for a winter show.

Cr Aaron Hawkins - chairman of the DCC's community and culture committee and the grants subcommittee - said it made sense to review the show, but he hoped the council would continue to support it.

"It is a significant event in terms of visitor numbers and how we brand the city, but more importantly in terms of how the Emerging Designer Awards in particular position Dunedin and Otago Polytechnic as a centre for educational excellence in fashion and design."

Events funding

The Dunedin City Council has announced 12 premier and major community events together allocated more than $500,000 in funding.

Premier events

  • New Zealand International Science Festival $78,100
  • Otago Rally $70,000

Major community events

  • Otago Polyfest $42,700
  • Taieri Wings and Wheels 2020 $20,000
  • Wild Dunedin NZ Festival of Nature $50,000
  • Dunedin Marathon $7500
  • The Dunedin Writers and Readers Festival $33,000
  • Dunedin Midwinter Carnival 2020 $42,500
  • Port Chalmers Seafood Festival 2019 $10,000
  • Dunedin Fringe Festival 2020 $60,000
  • The Vogel Street Party 2019 — Dunedin Icons $34,900
  • Arts Festival Dunedin $60,000 


The only radical chic show in town, it makes Dunedin hip, fashionable and interesting, for a week.

Local journalism matters - now more than ever

As the Covid-19 pandemic brings the world into uncharted waters, Otago Daily Times reporters and photographers continue to bring you the stories that matter. For more than 158 years our journalists have provided readers with local news you can trust. This is more important now than ever.

As advertising drops off during the pandemic, support from our readers is crucial. You can help us continue to bring you news you can trust by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter