Monday, April 30, 2012


I woke up to a beautiful Sydney Monday morning streaming through the window of my good friend’s Surry Hills apartment that I’ll be calling home for the next three weeks. I’ve been in town since very early Thursday morning. Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Australia (MBFWA) starts this morning. I’ll be there all week. The following two weeks are filled with client meetings and networking.

Despite a smooth, sleep-filled flight aboard a comfy Qantas A380 (they might have cracks in their wings but they top the dear old 747’s handily), I was completely zonked Thursday as I moved through a day of work and logistics trying desperately to stay awake and avoid extended jetlag. If you need stimulation while trudging along on hazy autopilot, there’s no more appealing and vibrant place than Sydney.

Thursday and Friday were spent at Fashion Palette, a high-end showcase of Australian designers held at the exceptional Carriageworks event space in Redfern … more about the show in a separate blog in the coming days.

MBFWA is Australia’s premier fashion week that provides a platform for designers to showcase their collections to the world’s most influential media and buyers. MBFWA claims the mantle of the Asia Pacific’s stop on the international fashion week circuit joining Paris, Milan, New York and London.

Spring/Summer 2012-13 will be breaking. It is an extremely important week for me. I get to watch the runway shows of the latest collections from some of Australia’s most established (such as Bec & Bridge, Oroton, Toni Maticevski, Ksubi, Kooey, Zimmermann) and emerging designers (Ode To No One, Toi Et Moi Sydney, Akira, Watson X Watson). I meet with designers and their sales and PR agents and view their collections in the suites of the nearby Shangri-La Hotel. And very importantly, I meet and network with the movers and shakers of the Australian fashion industry.

At paul brindley consults, we work with international and US domestic fashion designers and manufacturers wanting to launch in the US:
  • We conduct market research and advise on the US apparel market.
  • We source the most appropriate US sales channels (independent showrooms, corporate sales, distribution or licensing).
  • We provide referrals to key contacts in PR, logistics, etc.
  • We make sure our clients are export ready – pbc Fashion Services.
I’ll be taking part in the excellent business matching program being coordinated by the New South Wales State Government, Department of Trade & Investment in conjunction with the Australian Trade Commission (Austrade) and the Council of Textile & Fashion Industries of Australia (TFIA). I’ll also be meeting a delegation of Hong Kong designers promoted by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council.

I’ll be attending some off-site showcases of designers who aren’t on the official schedule but are taking advantage of the buyer activity and general buzz generated by MBFWA to launch their Spring/Summer collections and announce themselves to the world.

The official five-day schedule is centered at the Overseas Passenger Terminal (OPT) at Sydney’s fabulous Circular Quay. If you have never been to Circular Quay, it is one of the most spectacular big city vistas anywhere in the world.

With the CBD at your back, Sydney Harbor Bridge on your left, the Sydney Opera House on your right, and the unparalleled Sydney Harbor lapping at the quay, you are in the heart of the historic Sydney Cove. The OPT is appropriately on your left as you head toward “The Coathanger”.

It’s going to be a very busy and exciting week. I’ll be blogging and tweeting constantly so stay tuned.

Paul Brindley
paul brindley consults


It turned out a cloudy day at the Overseas Passenger Terminal at Circular Quay in downtown Sydney for Day 1 of Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Australia (MBFWA).

The first runway of the day for me was Lisa Maree. The collection is a sexy mix of swim and ready-to-wear. I loved the colors, prints, use of crochet, hints of leather and how the collection flowed together.

Melt Management represents the collection in the US. Melissa Trovato, the Principal of Melt, is a good friend of Lisa Maree’s and introduced us by email. I made sure to meet the tall, gorgeous designer and her equally gorgeous young daughter after the show.

From the bright Lisa Maree, I went into the dark of art installation showcase by fashion forward designer, Gail Sorronda. No runway here. Models slowly moved conveyor-like from one podium to the next as they made their way around the vee of the installation in front of screened imagery. Oh My Goth was the theme. Still there was plenty of bright and fluoro colors in the collection. The models’ make-up and hair was brilliant.

Gail Sorronda

The Miss Unkon show revealed a softer, more feminine collection compared to last year’s tribal motif.
Miss Unkon

Aurelio Costarella blew the room away with his classic collection of beaded, embroidered eveningwear in a subdued palette. The crowd certainly wasn’t subdued as Aurelio received a rousing ovation as he walked between his creations.

In between runways, I filled the day with client meetings at The Hub and collection viewings at the nearby Shangri-La Hotel. I reconnected with many of the industry folks I met last year.

All in all, an exhilarating and exciting day was had by all. The rest of the week promises much, much more.

I hope you enjoyed my tweets throughout the day – @pbconsults

Paul Brindley
paul brindley consults

Thursday, April 5, 2012


The Spring/Summer 2013 Los Angeles International Textile Show (a.k.a. LA Textile) had the California Market Center (CalMart) in the downtown Fashion District jumpin’ last Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. LA Textile is the largest textile, trim, design and production resource trade show in the United States in both size and variety of resources. The Spring/Summer show is held in March. The Fall/Winter show is in October.

My bestie and pbc colleague, Tracy Engelien (owner of the brilliant Boxie) and I had planned one of regular LA store scouting excursions for the Monday. We spent the first half of the day on the Westside in Venice and Santa Monica before heading downtown to walk the show and take advantage of the excellent seminar program that is presented by the show participants and the leading trade associations. This was my first time attending.

Tracy was particularly interested in the “Creative Vision: Spring/Summer 13 Trend Seminar” by highly regarded UK trend forecaster, Mudpie. Unfortunately, it was canceled. We are supposed be getting the presentation emailed to us.

I had signed up for Fashion Business Incorporated‘s (FBI) “LA State of the Apparel Industry Report” seminar. The research report which was sponsored by Los Angeles Department of Water & Power was presented by the supervising researcher, Peter Kilduff, Professor and Chair of the Apparel Merchandising and Management Program at Cal Poly Pomona. It sounded like a fascinating seminar, and it didn’t disappoint. The room was full, and the Q&A could have gone on all night. Sorry for the tease but I’m working on an extensive blog on the report and the seminar. I’ll try and get it out before I leave for the Mercedes Benz Australia Fashion Week in Sydney at the end of the month.

I like FBI. FBI is a non-profit organization that been around since ’99. It provides an excellent range of services to the fashion industry including entrepreneurial development, resources and training. Their seminars and panel discussions are well worthwhile – knowledgeable and insightful speakers, relevant and practical topics and the programs move along at a good pace.

Other seminars included topics like trends and directions for Spring/Summer 13 and Fall/Winter 13/14, purchasing, design, brand building, fabric development and innovation, and legal issues presented by partner organizations such as California Fashion Association, trend forecaster WGSN, fashion law specialists Fox Rothschild, LLP, and fabric innovator Lenzing.

Why attend LA Textile? As I said above, it is the largest, most diverse textile trade show in the US. It attracts more than 200 exhibitors from around the world showcasing fabric, textile, accessories and trim products, design and decoration resources, production tools, technology and sourcing, and the very important fabric, color and style trend forecasting resources. If you are a manufacturer, fashion or textile designer, interior decorator, architect, material supplier, trim or home textile retailer, distributor, fashion trend follower or a fashion student, LA Textile is for you.

The aforementioned seminars are a great value-add to the show. There are invaluable networking drinks at the end of each day. I never miss these because I always make new contacts, such as Jim Wallis, President of Montgomery Fashion Group from Australia. Jim was quoted in the official press release as saying, “We have seen many apparel makers and brands from the Western United States, Texas, and Florida. We’ve had great exposure at this Show and are very happy with the turn out.”

Registration is on the ground floor atrium, as was the Korea Pavilion in the Exhibit Hall. The rest of the show is held in the 13th floor Penthouse. The seminars are also held on the 13th floor. FBI held seminars in their 7th floor offices.

There was plenty of foot traffic, lots to see, the seminars were full, and best of all, it was a real learning experience. I would recommend checking out the next LA Textile show in October.

Paul Brindley