IMG acquires Australian fashion firm

MUMBAI: Sports and lifestyle management and marketing firm IMG has signed an agreement to acquire Australian Fashion Innovators (AFI) and with it the fashion event, Mercedes Australian Fashion Week.

The acquisition also includes the management and production of the Mercedes-Benz Start Up program in Australia and New Zealand, the Mercedes-Benz Asia Fashion Award programme which is currently held in six countries throughout Asia, the Singapore Fashion Festival and other fashion events around the Asia Pacific region that are in development, including events in India, China and Japan.



Australian Fashion Innovators former CEO Simon P. Lock will be the MD of the newly formed IMG Fashion Asia Pacific .

IMG currently owns and operates a number of the fashion events. These include Olympus Fashion Week (New York ), Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at Smashbox Studios (Los Angeles ), Fashion Fringe (London). In India IMG produces the Lakme India Fashion Week. It also owns and publishes the magazineThe Daily in New York.



IMG Fashion Asia Pacific will operate initially from four offices in Sydney, Melbourne, Singapore and Hong Kong. The Sydney office will continue to share the offices of The Lock Group, which owned AFI. The Melbourne office will be based at IMG Australia's corporate offices in St. Kilda Road, St. Kilda. All existing AFI staff will be involved in the new venture and the transition, and will join with IMG staff to work with current sponsors of the events and suppliers, maintain relationships with designers, retailers, the media and the Australian industry in general.



Lock says, "This new venture will benefit from the combination of the experience, expertise and networks of both IMG and my former AFI team. It is the best thing to happen to the Australian fashion industry since Mercedes Australian Fashion Week was first established in 1996. It means that our events and our industry will now benefit through the international alignment of an organisation that owns and has relationships with other international fashion weeks on the circuit. For Australian designers this will mean new opportunities for growth. For MAFW it means increased marketing influence globally."

IMG Fashion Asia Pacific will provide focussed resources to grow the Asia Pacific fashion industry through a number of initiatives, while adding value to existing ventures and events. The new company will position itself as the most professional, creative and connected fashion event and fashion media content developer in the Asia Pacific.

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