Two big-name Australian designers announced their withdrawal from this year's Australian Fashion Week this morning, a mere fortnight before the prestigious industry-only event in Sydney is scheduled to start.
Fashion crowd favourites Dion Lee and Josh Goot both pulled out to the dismay of their fans and others, who were left questioning what this meant for the event as both labels are considered drawcards.
Their announcement put both designers' names into the list of trending topics on Twitter, meaning there was plenty of discussion around their decision. Lee issued a statement that said his Australian Fashion Week showings for the past three years had benefited his business in terms of building his profile locally and overseas. He hoped to return to the Australian show schedule in the future.
He explained his decision as a means to focus on other areas of his business.
He showed a trans-seasonal collection for European autumn-winter 2012-2013 season at London Fashion Week in February and wanted to prepare his line to show in London again in September.
Goot's statement said the timing of Australian Fashion Week on the fashion calendar was "challenging" and that pulling out was the right decision for the brand, business and team.
The label planned to focus on a new resort collection "without the distraction of a show". The resort collection will be presented in June to coincide with the international fashion schedule.
Both Goot and Lee have been hailed as rising stars of Australian fashion and both have brought their clothes to the masses through commercial collaborations – with Target in Goot's case, and with Cue in Lee's case.
Lee is noted for his "architectural tailoring" and luxurious fabrics. Goot's style features minimalism, bold colours and clean lines.
Popular designers who, at this time, remain on the Australian Fashion Week schedule include Romance Was Born, Zimmermann, Jayson Brunsdon, Akira and Ellery.