Sylvester eventually gave in and Shepherd - who is said to have appeared to have been quite embarrassed by the incident - opened.
According to Chic Management director Kathy Ward, it was Sylvester who changed the terms of the agreement.
Ward told frockwriter:
"Given the exposure that Myf has had in the past year, all the international shows and press, the deal was that she would open the show. And we were just making sure that what we agreed to was actually carried out. At no time was there talk of Myf closing the show. We are just choosing a couple of select shows [this week]. She wants to support Australian Fashion Week, she wants to support Australian designers. But if she is going to walk for a designer, she has to open the show”.
According to the Sylvester camp however, there was no deal. Sylvester's spokeswoman told frockwriter that negotiations with Chic had been going on for two days, with a contract signed yesterday. At no stage during the negotiations, and nowhere in the contract, did Chic stipulate that Shepherd's involvement in the show was contingent on her opening, says the spokeswoman - until 7.30am this morning, when Sylvester's casting director received a call from a Chic Management rep.
This time last year, as has been well documented on this blog, Shepherd was an unknown 17 year-old from Queensland who had only recently been scouted and had in fact been rejected by the producers of Australia's Next Top Model for the 2008 edition of the series.
Shepherd was the most-booked model in Chic Management's stable for the 2008 edition of RAFW.
She would go on to be booked by Prada and Gucci for the Resort 2009 collections in New York in July 2008, followed by a plethora of other major bookings during the SS09 season. From New York to London, Milan and Paris, Shepherd walked in over 50 SS09 shows.
Shepherd's sophomore international RTW season in February and March this year embraced 62 shows. Shepherd has also featured in a number of prestigious international fashion magazines and her campaign bookings include the Gucci FW0910 campaign.
Of those 62 FW0910 shows, Shepherd only opened - or closed - a very small handful.