Twice the allure for iD Fashion

iD Dunedin Fashion Week committee co-chairwoman Sally Peart at the Dunedin Railway Station, where...
iD Dunedin Fashion Week committee co-chairwoman Sally Peart at the Dunedin Railway Station, where the event may return in 2021. PHOTO: PETER MCINTOSH
Dunedin's iD Fashion Week is set to be split in two.

The event's future is shaping as a midwinter emerging designers show and a summer event for established designers, the latter eyeing a return to the Dunedin Railway Station.

The thinking behind the move is to use the emerging designers event to attract people to the city in the tourism off-season, while having the runway show at the railway station in February may just - with a bit of luck - provide a warmer summer environment to watch the show.

And iD Dunedin Fashion Week committee co-chairwoman Sally Peart said the organisation was in "a really good space" financially as it planned for the changes.

Ms Peart said there had been a meeting with stakeholders after the last show at the Regent Theatre in March.

The venue was "not ideal" for what was this year a merged show, having both the more edgy and flamboyant emerging designers alongside established designers, she said.

The show moved to the Regent after being held at the Dunedin Town Hall in 2018.

In the past, emerging designers had shown at the town hall and established designers at the railway station in the same week.

The meeting showed audiences, designers and sponsors loved the railway station as a venue.

Ms Peart said the market for events had changed "so much" in the past 20 years.

iD Dunedin Fashion Week this year had two key events in one show, and different people attracted to one or the other.

Organisers wondered if it would be better to split them up.

The timing of the event was also an issue, as major events like an Adele tour in 2017 meant ticket sales that year were down.

The Dunedin City Council was keen for the emerging designers show, which brought people from overseas and around New Zealand, to be held in the tourism off-season, when there was less demand for accommodation, and when it wanted to attract more visitors to the city.

That was behind a decision to hold the event in June next year, which fitted in with the student timetable, as the event showed the work of fashion design students.

It was not yet certain where it would be held, although the town hall was favoured.

The established designers show would be held in February 2021, as "we don't want to have it in winter".

The railway station had an intimacy other places could not provide, Ms Peart said.

There were challenges, as trains for cruise ship passengers and the Otago Farmers Market used the space.

"`We've just got to work out some logistics."

Ms Peart said she hoped having the events months apart would mean more people attended both, and did not have to struggle to afford two in a week.

A new event manager would be appointed soon, and the committee's annual meeting would be held late next month.

The organisation had not applied for council funding this year as it was considering the changes, but it did have financial reserves to fall back on.

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