Friday, July 11, 2008

Sydney Chamber of Commerce on fashion: "Not relevant"

camilla & marc backstage, Sydney Theatre Company, Australian Fashion Week. April 2007/Getty

At some time or another, everybody's job gives them occasion to laugh out loud. I had two such moments this week. The first was when I called the Sydney Chamber of Commerce concerning a story I am writing for Womens Wear Daily.

Some local readers already know that I am the paper's Australasian correspondent.

On Monday, in the course of researching upcoming Sydney events - which include next month's inaugural Sydney Fashion Festival - the city's growth, retail potential etc... I thought the Chamber of Commerce would be well-positioned to comment.

As not everyone is familiar with the publication, I explained to communications director Nick Davy that WWD is a high profile, New York-based, business-to-business publication which is read all over the world by movers and shakers in the global fashion, retail, luxury and beauty businesses.

Many of these companies, I added, may already have business operations in Australia - with others contemplating so doing in the future.

Davy said he would check if executive director Patricia Forsythe was available for a phone interview, adding that she is "very busy".

Davy's response, delivered some time later, was that neither Forsythe nor indeed anyone from the Chamber would be available to talk to me. He added:
"We've checked your website. It's a women's fashion publication and frankly, this is..... just not relevant".

Fast forward to yesterday and a news alert in one of my inboxes.

It was from travel retail e-letter The Moodie Report and covered a Sydney Airport Corporation callout to international luxury brands to open inside a new T1 "luxury precinct" called The Forum.

According to the release:
“This is a unique opportunity for world famous designers to join prominent, global fashion houses who have already indicated their intent to open flagship boutiques in Sydney International Airport’s Terminal (T1), which is currently undergoing redevelopment.

“As Australia's major gateway, T1 handled more than 10 million passengers in 2007 and designer brands are lining up to secure a retail site in the airport's much-anticipated expanded, world-class shopping precinct.”

As I say, I did have to laugh.


M.H. said...

You'd think to yourself people would have a clue or give a damn about these things... honestly sometimes I think this city is still in the medieval ages.

whoozqueen said...

Shooting themselves in the foot. No wonder creative Australians have to leave the country to have their skills and services recognised. Australia needs to wise up to the fact that we are more than a resources/mining nation, we are also very creative and innovative...when we are 'allowed' to be.

Anonymous said...

"It's a women's fashion publication."

Tell that to the high-powered CEOs who read it. What bollocks.

M.H. said...

I think the Victorian Government does a lot of work to support the creative industry but not in Sydney. You get the feeling they are more selective in who they choose to support. 'We don't care if your struggling and your not going to make it, BUT if you've made it, CONGRATS!' It's not a gameshow but it's what they make it out to be.

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