The City of Sydney will give up to 10 local fashion designers the opportunity to establish viable business models and open their first retail spaces.
Through its Knowledge Exchange Sponsorship, the City will support a program by the Australian Fashion Council (AFC) that will teach local emerging designers to develop viable and sustainable long-term businesses.
AFC Curated Sydney 2019 will teach designers the 'business of fashion' through a combination of retail exposure, direct industry mentoring, business development workshops and seminars.
By offering mentoring to build skills and expertise, share knowledge and develop best practice in business, the program aims to profile Australian designers and position Sydney as a major creative hub in the Asia Pacific region.
Participants will also have the opportunity to experience their first shopfronts through a series of pop-ups in vacant retail spaces in Sydney.
Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the program will offer tailored support for emerging designers who often face significant challenges in the first five years of business.
"Retail in Sydney continues to face many challenges with construction across the city, the continued growth of online shopping, and reduction in consumer spending," the Lord Mayor said.
"Our Retail Advisory Panel has strongly suggested that industry-led programs, supported by government, will enhance the long-term viability of the sector.
"We're delighted to support the AFC Curated Sydney 2019 program to create more skilled and connected business owners and to see vacant spaces throughout the city revitalised.
"It's also fantastic to see the Australian Fashion Council acknowledge their role in promoting environmental sustainability within the local fashion industry. Reducing textile waste in Sydney is critical if we are to achieve our goal of 'zero waste' by 2030, so we welcome the AFC's commitment to ethical and sustainable fashion."
The City will provide a $35,000 cash sponsorship for the Australian Fashion Council to produce the AFCCurated Sydney 2019 program, which will run during 2019.
David Giles Kaye, CEO of Australian Fashion Council, said the City's grant would be a great support for the AFC Curated program in Sydney, benefitting individual designers and the wider community.
"Now in its third year, we've seen a number of Australian labels grow through the AFC Curated program," David said.
"Having the City's support to expand this into Sydney will have huge benefits for NSW based emerging designers looking to build a sustainable business and become part of a community of like-minded businesses and industry experts.
"The holistic approach of the program with retail access, business development workshops and direct industry mentoring provides an opportunity for these designers to develop their own skills and knowledge, while building a network of support that they can draw on for years to come."
The Australian Fashion Council is a not-for-profit organisation promoting the growth of Australia's textile and fashion industry by promoting ethical practice, strengthening supply chains, fostering design and innovation, supporting emerging business and building Australian exports. For more on its AFC Curated program, head to afccurated.com, and to ausfashioncouncil.com.
The City's knowledge exchange sponsorships support the exchange of ideas and knowledge and encourage dialogue on local and global issues. Under the program, eligible projects can be supported to a maximum of $40,000 cash. Businesses can apply throughout the year.
For more information on the knowledge exchange sponsorship, review page 60 of the City's Grants and Sponsorships Guidelines.