Victoria has a pivotal role in the national fashion industry, with strengths in textile production, fashion design, manufacturing, promotion and education.
A survey of Victorian fashion enterprises conducted by I & J Management Services found that 88% were located in metropolitan Melbourne and 12% in regional Victorian. Within the metropolitan area, the fashion industry is concentrated in inner Melbourne and the inner northern suburbs. Notably, in an 8km stretch from Richmond to Melbourne, Collingwood, Fitzroy and Brunswick.
Fashion education and training
Melbourne’s key fashion education institutions include; The Council of Textile & Fashion based at Kangan Institute’s Cremorne/Richmond campus, LCI in Collingwood and RMIT’s School of Fashion and Textiles at RMIT’s Brunswick campus. Key regional institutions include, Deakin University in Geelong and Wodonga TAFE. Other TAFE and private training providers also offer fashion design courses through campuses located in the inner city (e.g. Holmesglen Institute, Academy of Design Australia, Collarts and Holmes Institute).
In 2019 the Business of Fashion’s Education Council released its assessment of the best fashion schools in the world. Among the 37 schools spanning 14 countries, RMIT University in Melbourne was listed alongside the most prestigious institutions in the world.
Fashion exports and imports
Around 75-80% of Victorian fashion companies with 2 or more employees are exporters of fashion products and servicesi.
In Victoria, fashion industry imports mainly fall into one of two categories:
- fabric, trims, textiles, threads and elastics, and fastenings.
- manufactured products and finished garments that are completed offshore before shipping back to Australia for distribution and local sale.
Fashion festivals and events
A key event in Melbourne’s fashion industry calendar is the Australian Fashion Summit held as part of the Melbourne Fashion Festival.
The National Gallery of Victoria has an extensive fashion and textiles collection and regularly hosts international fashion exhibitions from all over the world.
Regionally, Bendigo Gallery is renowned for its fashion exhibitions, showcasing a breadth of fashion from First Peoples designers to global fashion icons.
Employment in the wider fashion sector
i I & J Management Services Victorian Fashion Industry Survey 2018