Behind the partnership: Melbourne Fashion Festival and Kmart

The Paypal Melbourne Fashion Festival (MFF) is partnering with Kmart this year to introduce two new events to the schedule, including a business lunch and family runway show.

In an interview with Ragtrader, Melbourne Fashion Festival CEO Caroline Ralphsmith discusses the key factors that led to the organisation partnering with the Australian department store known for its low price points.

How did this collaboration with Kmart come about?

As Australia’s largest and longest running consumer Festival, we are committed to showcasing fashion in all its forms. Whilst our core focus as a not-for-profit organisation is to support and amplify our Australian fashion and creatives on a local, national, and global stage via our premium runways and within the Fashion Culture program, we also want to ensure that the Festival proudly champions the positive representation of our diverse fashion community.

The Festival has a history of partnering with consumer brands including Priceline and Target to provide an accessible, fun and interactive event for the whole family. Kmart is one of Australia’s most loved and trusted brands that has become a destination for millions of Australian families to access affordable everyday products, including sustainably sourced fashion apparel.

What were the key steps in executing this deal?

A core element of the Festival’s overarching strategy is to ensure we support the wider industry in making fashion feel accessible to every potential customer. We develop our program with all consumers in mind and want to ensure we offer an experience that appeals to every type of fashion lover.

For the 2023 Festival, we were looking for a partner that would help us reach new audiences, but that also shared the Festival’s values of having a keen focus on sustainability, manufacturing and policies around diversity and inclusion. We feel we found this with Kmart and

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