THE PASI DIARIES | CAN WE TALK?
ADVERTISING GURU AND CO-FOUNDER OF FASHFEST
With only a fews hours to curtain up on the first night of Fashfest I sit down for a chat with co-founder of the three day event that that now in it's fourth year running is back bigger better than ever.
Clint Hutchinson a managing partner/co-founder of one the top advertising agencies in Canberra and co-founder of Fashfest with his equally successful wife Andrea Hutchinson, a former model from Switzerland who now runs one of the Canberra’s largest modelling agencies (HAUS MODELS) sat down with me this week to talk all things fashfest, which now in it’s fourth year running is back bigger and better than ever.
What is the story behind FASHFEST, why did you start it?
My wife, who co-founded FASHFEST with me, is a former model from Switzerland. We were overseas on a holiday and travelling by train to shop in Milan, chatting about fashion in general. It dawned on us that Canberra was the only capital in Australia to NOT have its own annual red-carpet fashion event. We wondered why and thought: ‘This isn’t good enough.’
We both work in the creative space—I’m the Managing Director of one of Canberra’s largest advertising agencies and Andrea is in charge of one of Canberra’s largest modelling agencies (HAUS Models). We decided to start a major fashion event in the capital and showcase local talent on the world stage for all to see. When we returned from Europe we started planning. We gathered around us experts in many other creative industries and FASHFEST was born. It was a huge decision and is a huge risk for us personally, but we’ve loved every minute of it.
In it’s fourth year running why do you think FASHFEST has been so successful?
Canberra is a cool capital and has changed so much in the last several years. FASHFEST is a perfect fit for where we’re the ACT is heading. People love fashion and music and film, which are all essential components of our event. And they love a great social night out, which is what FASHFEST is.
We also filled a gap, providing a much-needed platform for fashion designers here. If they don’t have FASHFEST, they have to leave town to get the experience of launching new collections in a professional show. Same with the other many types of creatives involved. Now they can stay and get that vital experience from a red carpet, professionally run event, where they live.
With the runway additions of household names M.J Bale, Veronica Mayne and Aquila. FASHFEST 2016 is definitely different to the one Cissy and I attended last year. Where is FASHFEST headed and what are the plans for the future? Will we see more established brands on the runway 2017?
To us local and independent fashion labels will always be front and centre at FASHFEST, but the event has grow to survive. Canberra is small compared to major fashion capitals like Sydney and Melbourne so it’s only natural that we have to expand our focus with new labels. For 2016, we’ve done this with 8 labels that operate out of the Canberra Centre, a major event partner. We’ve also incorporated labels that sell out of retail outlets like Assemblage Project and Rebel Muse in Braddon. And we continue to attract labels from interstate, like Eder by Anna from Sydney and labels from Melbourne, the Central Coast and even overseas (this year, New Zealand and even India).
This year you guys have partnered up with ‘The Red Segment’ a charity foundation that is all about supporting women with Heart disease. Why is this cause so important to FASHFEST and how are you guys intending to bring awareness to “The Red Segment”.
We’re not yet a profit making event and so can’t donate money to a cause of any kind. We can, however, provide support by providing a platform to build awareness of a cause. This year we were approached by The Heart Foundation and Andrea and I were surprised to learn that heart disease is the number one killer of Australian women. FASHFEST believes a fashion show is a heartfelt way to draw attention to this serious issue. To show our support, we are showcasing custom-made garments and/or accessories by about 13 designers who will launch collections at the 2016 event. They’ll all be made entirely in red or feature red as an accent colour.
FASHFEST. 29 September to 1 October. Three nights. Six distinct shows. One total fashion experience. Tickets from $49 (incl GST): www.fashfest.com.au