Melbourne Fashion Festival drops L’Oreal as naming rights sponsor

The Melbourne Fashion Festival has signed a deal with Virgin Australia that will see the airline become the principal and naming rights partner of the Festival for the next three years.

Formerly known as the L’Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival (LMFF), the festival will now be referred to as the Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival or VAMFF.

The partnership will see the event be rebranded to the ‘Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival’, including a new logo and a joint sales and marketing program, designed to increase visitor numbers to the event through the airline’s expansive domestic and international network.

The festival will be held over the month of March 2014, offering a program of events to celebrate and inspire the fashion industry around Australia, from runway shows to cultural and business seminars.

Virgin Australia’s chief commercial officer, Judith Crompton, said the partnership represented a range of new opportunities for the airline, the festival and the tourism industry: “We are delighted to partner with this iconic event, which shares our values of innovation, style and our commitment to fostering emerging and established local, Australian talent.

“As a full-service airline, we are uniquely placed to captivate new audiences in Australia and around the world, allowing us to further support tourism in Victoria and evolve the festival on the world stage.

“We are working closely with the festival to come up with new and unique ways to promote the events across our channels both in the air and on the ground. We look forward to welcoming the attendees on board next year,” Crompton said in a statement.

Melbourne Fashion Festival CEO Graeme Lewsey (pictured with model Ivana at Melbourne Airport) says the partnership marks a new chapter for the festival and the fashion industry. “In 2013, the festival was attended by 377,000 people, the highest number in our 17 year history. This new partnership will further strengthen our tourism retail strategy, while working with one of the most innovative and inspiring brands in the world,” Lewsey said.

“There is no doubt the industry has been challenged, but this is a massive step in improving the reach of these brands and fashion internationally and locally,” Lewsey told News Corp.

“It’s using their global networks for the benefit of our Australian designers and retail industry.”

L’Oreal Australia will still stay on as an ‘exclusive beauty partner’ during the event.