Canberra's fashionable set need to mark out four days in May in their calendars when Canberra gets its own version of Sydney and Melbourne Fashion Weeks.
After weeks of building momentum through a social media campaign, Fashfest will be launched on Friday.
It is a festival of local fashion and design which will take place from May 1-4, showcasing 22 of the city's established and up-and-coming designers through four distinct shows.
In a coup for increasing the exposure of Canberra's fashion industry while featuring only local talent, Fashfest has managed to secure international model and Canberra girl Anneliese Seubert as its official "face".
Seubert, who was last on the catwalk in 2010 closing shows for Alex Perry and Aurelio Costarella at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia in Sydney, is looking forward to being the inaugural ambassador for Fashfest. While she is not overly familiar with the local fashion scene, the starring role of a new event is a familiar one for the 39-year-old model who was the "face" of the first IMG Australian Fashion Week in 2005.
Just three months ago, Seubert gave birth to her first child, a daughter, Camille.
Plucked from obscurity as a Canberra Girls' Grammar student in the early '90s, Seubert won the Ford Supermodel of the World contest at 17, appearing in the British, Italian, German and Australian editions of Vogue and taking the runway for Christian Dior, Armani, Alexander McQueen, Karl Lagerfeld and Calvin Klein while she lived in Paris. Now living back in Canberra with her partner Seubert, who remained in demand for editorial work throughout her pregnancy, is delighted to return to the catwalk during Fashfest while her mother dotes on Camille backstage. "I've got another couple of months to be catwalk ready and thankfully the baby was very well behaved while we were shooting the campaign," Seubert said.
For her first Fashfest shoot - her first modelling job since giving birth - Seubert radiated the same natural charm and grace which captured the attention of Mario Testino and Patrick Demarchelier in the '90s. She cut a high fashion figure on set wearing a heavily embellished ivory Sarah Joseph gown made with razor cut south-east Asian silk and an eco-friendly gown by Edition designer Alice Sutton.
"I'm interested in the talent of Canberra designers," Seubert said. "What I love most about young designers is watching them grow. They need to have a platform to show their work and Fashfest is perfect for this.
"As a model and a new mum it's great to have work in Canberra. I didn't even know there were any Canberra designers so it will be great to get to know them and see what they can do."
The brainchild of Zoo Advertising founding partner Clinton Hutchinson and his Swiss-born model wife Andrea, Fashfest promises an injection not only to the city's style credentials but also into the local economy, drawing more than $200,000 in sponsorship and nearly $100,000 in creative expertise donated in-kind.
The couple concede it has been a monumental task to take the idea from scratch and gain the support and commitment of designers such as Lisa T, Edition, Caitleen Moloney, Hunter and Zoe, and sponsors such as Audi, Eden Road Wines, and ghd. More than 80 individuals and 25 organisations have signed up to the event, making it one of the largest joint ventures in the ACT.
As it has been coming together, Fashfest has delivered Canberrans a few tantalising glimpses of what will be on offer through Facebook posts and Instagram photos.
Mr Hutchinson said the buzz around Fashfest had been immense and it was a relief to be able to finally tell the public what was coming in May.
He and Andrea are confident a trailer, which will double as a television commercial, shot and produced by Screencraft and Zoo, will set the scene for the unique event.
"Canberrans will recognise some of the faces and places but there are no shots of iconic Canberra buildings or landmarks because we need to start promoting new talent and new initiatives," Mr Hutchinson said.
"It's about time Canberra had its own Fashfest. I have no doubt we have the talent in this city to make it work on a yearly basis."
Mrs Hutchinson, who moved to Canberra to be with Mr Hutchinson four years ago and is "obsessed with fashion", said the four-day event will focus on supporting local designers, make-up artists, hairstylists and photographers.
"We go the CIT Graduation Show every year and last year we were blown away by the talent we saw. We want Fashfest to be something graduates and emerging designers can look forward to every year. An event where they can showcase their ready-to-wear collections and more outrageous one-off looks, and also network with Canberra shoppers and potential stockists," she said.
Tickets go on sale at the beginning of March starting at $50 with limited seating each night for 500.
Fashfest will be held at an as yet undisclosed location which promises to be distinctly Canberran.