Executive Director, IMG Fashion Asia-Pacific
Natalie Xenita joined IMG in 2016. 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, Xenita oversees event strategy, sponsorship sales, marketing, production and organization. With an extensive background in the media publishing industry, Xenita 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.
As the custodian of Australia’s leading fashion event, Xenita will share insights into MBFWA’s commercial growth strategy, examining major milestones and invaluable lessons learned along the event’s path to success.