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Fashion Week wants Govt support, but not cash

Published: 5:40AM Tuesday August 30, 2011 Source: ONE News

New Zealand Fashion Week organisers say a plea for Government help was not about financial backing.

Organisers last night said the show can no longer run unless the Government steps in to help fund it.

The financial pressures over the past two years had become too much, Pieter Stewart said.

However, Stewart said today that help was wanted to set up a "fashion council".

He told ONE News the proposed council would be responsible for many facets of the industry, including running Fashion Week and setting up workshops for local designers.

It would be made up of fashion leaders and representatives from local and central Government.

"The Government could become involved perhaps in helping to set up a fashion council, I have discussed it with them briefly ... just an infrastructure to help the industry or to help run what's happening with the fashion industry."

Last night, at the opening of the 11-year-old event, Stewart said sponsorship had been difficult to find this year because of the over-whelming corporate interest in the Rugby World Cup. 

Organisers are entertaining several potential key sponsors at the week long-event in the hope of finding a replacement for Air New Zealand who pulled out last year.  

Designer Trelise Cooper has shown at every single event, and says the New Zealand fashion industry cannot survive without the showcase.

"It's brought to us international buyers, which before Fashion Week we never saw or knew about. I think it's hugely important for our industry," she said.

Rugby World Cup Minister Murray McCully, who was at last night's launch, said he will be working hard to get the Government on board to back the event.

"Anything that is going to make sure this important industry is able to project itself on the world stage as part of New Zealand projecting itself on the international stage is something we should look at," he said.