Natalie Xenita

Executive Director, IMG Fashion Asia-Pacific

As the custodian of Asia-Pacific’s biggest fashion industry event, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia, and its consumer extension, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Weekend Edition, Natalie oversees event strategy, sponsorship sales, marketing, production and organization. With an extensive background in the media publishing industry, Natalie is responsible for leading the APAC Fashion Events team to deliver commercial growth and outcomes for all stakeholders involved, from the showcasing designers to sponsors and event partners.


9.55 am – 10.25 am | Friday 8th February 2019

Runway to Resort: How IMG Established Sydney as a Global Fashion Hub

Fashion is a powerhouse industry that drives annual retail sales of over $9 billion and employs some 77,000 people in New South Wales alone. Since its establishment in 1996, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia (MBFWA) has created valuable business and export opportunities for Australia’s fashion industry, drawing buyers, press and influencers from around the globe.

Over 23 years, this once-nascent trade gathering has emerged as the preeminent fashion event in Asia-Pacific – but success didn’t happen overnight. IMG acquired the event in 2006, investing heavily into elevating the overall experience, from sponsorship activations to designer selection and global audience engagement. MBFWA then underwent a major strategic repositioning in 2016, making it the world’s first Fashion Week focused exclusively on Resort Collections – resulting in double to triple-digit growth across categories, from designer participation to international media and buyer attendance. This strategic move was coupled with the growth of MBFWA’s consumer extension, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Weekend Edition, further solidifying the event’s position by reaching beyond endemic audiences to broaden regional relevance and commercial significance.

Session take outs:

  • gain insight into MBFWA’s commercial growth strategy and how you adopt their strategies to emulate success
  • hear the major milestones and invaluable lessons learned along the event’s path to success and how these can be applied to your business

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