Blonde woman creating with big care

The City of Sydney is set to give a handful of local fashion designers the chance to pave their way in the retail industry and open their first brick-and-mortar store under a new program.

The new initiative will teach emerging designers the skills to develop a sustainable long-term business.

The program, which is aimed at profiling Australian designers and positioning Sydney as a major fashion hub, will see the City support the Australian Fashion Council to offer the training with a $35,000 cash sponsorship.

AFC Curated Sydney 2019 will teach designers about the business of fashion through retail exposure, industry mentoring, business development workshops and seminars.

Participants will be given the opportunity to profile their work in a shopfront with a series of pop-ups in vacant spaces across Sydney.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the program will give upcoming designers an invaluable opportunity to establish themselves in a highly competitive industry.

“Retail in Sydney continues to face many challenges with construction across the city, the continued growth of online shopping, and reduction in consumer spending,” she 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.”

David Giles Kaye, CEO of Australian Fashion Council, said the program will showcase some of Sydney’s best and brightest.

“Now in its third year, we’ve seen a number of Australian labels grow through the AFC Curated program,” he 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.”