Import From China Business

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A practical guide for starting a small business

Photos: CD 1,2,3 - Zsolt Dreher; Untitled - Gian paolo Dessolis; Model - Aldon Scott Mc Leod; Me Dressing - Heather Sorenson

Australian Fashion

Australian Fashion Industry Overview

Australian Fashion industry is concentrated in Australia's urban centers along the eastern seaboard and the south eastern part of the country.  Almost 70% of Australians live within ten urban centers making it one of the most urbanized nations in the world.  The bulk of the population, therefore, has full exposure to the Australian Fashion businesses.  Sydney, Australia is beginning to become an international fashion circuit as many of its designers have a global presence.

Although Australian Fashion has a western influence, the population actually is quite heterogeneous due to its 5 million settlers from over 200 countries. Sizing becomes difficult due to different ethnic groups having different body structures.  This is just one of several challenges facing the Australian Fashion businesses when they have to make product mix decisions.

Australian Fashion Designers

In the past, Australian Fashion has always been six months behind what's hot in London.  Whatever is hot in London will eventually make its way to Australia.  Today, the Australian Fashion industry is full of talented designers such as Collette Dinnigan, Wayne Cooper, and Sass and Bide.

Collette Dinnigan's designs are full of lacy evening gowns.  Sass and Bide have celebrities wearing their Denims.  Wayne Cooper is a British born, highly successful designer in Australia.  He has a number of boutiques carrying his brand in Australia.

Australian Fashion Opportunities

The aging population has been neglected as a target by the Australian Fashion industry.  Similar to other fashion industries around the world, most fashion designers only want to design for the young and the hip.  This leaves a great import opportunity for those importers who want to address an unmet need of the wealthy and fashion conscious Australian baby boomer.

Another opportunity for Australian Fashion designers is to sell their clothing online or etailers.  Australian fashion designers such as Scanlan & Theodore have increased their market through the Internet.

Australian Fashion Industry Sectors

The Australian Fashion Industry can be segmented into 4 sectors:

  1. Textiles

    The textile sector in Australian Fashion spins, weaves, knits, dyes, and finishes fabrics and hosiery.  It produces fabrics for clothing and niche markets such as the aerospace industry.  The value of the textile sector is estimated to be over $3 billion.
  2. Footwear

    The Footwear sector includes those manufacturers of mass produced shoes to those which custom make shoes.
  3. Headwear

    This category includes high volume items such as sun hats and hand crafted high fashion hats.
  4. Manufacturing

    Due to cheap labor many Australian Fashion Designers have moved their manufacturing operations overseas.  Those interested in manufacturing Australian Fashions will have to learn the trade of importing.

Fashion Australia Job Opportunities

There are many ways for someone to earn a living from the Australian Fashion industry.

  1. Clothing Design

    Given Australian's location, there are job opportunities in designing beach, surf and sportswear.
  2. Pattern Making and Production Areas

    Even though large productions have moved to China, many small Australian Fashion companies still produce clothing in Australia. These small companies will require the production skills of pattern makers.
  3. Retail, Marketing, PR

    These areas are growing in Fashion Australia with demand for retail assistants, buyers and store managers.
  4. Australian Fashion Publishing

    This is a very broad category covering from fashion photographers, fashion and art directors, designers, editorial staff, and writers/journalists.

Australian Fashion is a lucrative industry employing thousands of Australians. While some fantasizes the glamorous side of the Australian Fashion industry such as beautiful models and millionaire designers, many are making a healthy living from manufacturing to importing textiles.  There are definitely unmet needs for the importer to take advantage of.

Taking Advantage of Australian Fashion

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