ALÉMAIS Opening Runway Show presented by Porsche
Afterpay Australian Fashion Week (AAFW) has returned to Sydney’s Carriageworks with a spectacular exhibition of more than 40 runway shows highlighting Australia’s preeminent design talent, along with a series of industry talks, brand activations and special events.
The 2023 edition of the Australian fashion industry’s pinnacle event launched with the ALÉMAIS Opening Runway Show presented by Porsche. Held inside Carriageworks’ Gallery One, it was the perfect kick-start and showcased the label’s new ALÉMAIS RESORT ’24 collection, a stunning cruise-wear range rich in the brand’s trademark feminine aesthetic of dreamy patterns, optimistic prints and cool but vibrant colours.
ALÉMAIS Co-founder and Creative Director Lesleigh Jermanus thrilled the audience with her newest range, which builds on the continued success of her popular collections.
Managing Director and CEO of Porsche Cars Australia Daniel Schmollinger joined the Sydney-based designer at the end of the opening show, where they were photographed with Porsche’s award-winning all-electric Taycan sports car on the runway.
Lesleigh was a keynote speaker at the Porsche Pavilion during the recent Formula 1® Rolex Australian Grand Prix, where she shared her inspiring journey creating and building ALÉMAIS, one of the fashion industry’s extraordinary success stories.
Click here to view the recorded livestream of the ALÉMAIS Opening Runway Show presented by Porsche.
“Our world is advanced by those who are driven by their dreams. It’s why creative talent and achievements must be celebrated.” Daniel Schmollinger, Porsche Cars Australia’s MD and CEO
Michael Lo Sordo 10th Anniversary Runway Show and Soho House Party powered by Porsche
Monday evening at AAFW featured Michael Lo Sordo’s runway presentation, the designer’s 10th Anniversary runway show. After wowing the audience with his new ‘Showgirls’ collection, Porsche Cars Australia guests in attendance continued their festivities at the exclusive Soho House Party powered by Porsche, held at the recently opened Armorica Grande Brasserie in Surry Hills.
The inaugural event saw Porsche Cars Australia collaborate with Soho House’s Cities Without Houses community in Sydney, to kick off the week with an iconic House Party that was hosted by Michael Lo Sordo following his 10th anniversary runway show.
Guests celebrated the opening night of AAFW with an international music line-up and an array of Porsche electric cocktails in Sydney’s latest venue, which hosted a rich assembly of Australia’s top creatives as they welcomed the fashion industry’s leading annual event.
Locating the Soho House Party powered by Porsche was simple: the electrifying Porsche Taycan line-up signalled guests had arrived at the site of Sydney’s top party venue.
Porsche and the Soho House community are long-term cooperation partners.
Turbocharged style: BEC + BRIDGE Runway Show
Porsche Cars Australia expanded its support of AAFW this year by supporting the BEC + BRIDGE runway show, which unveiled its new High Summer 23/24 collection at the White Bay Cruise Terminal in Rozelle.
The retro flair of the Australian label’s stunning show was echoed by the unmistakeable styling of the 1975 Porsche 930 Turbo that was on display, the first example of Porsche’s famous turbocharged model-line released in Australia 48 years ago. The Ice Green 930 Turbo captivated guests with its famed wide-body styling and Dark Green interior, and was a fitting nod to the 60 year anniversary of the Porsche 911.
Women with Drive: Conversations with Lesleigh Jermanus
A highlight of AAFW 2023 was Women with Drive: Lesleigh Jermanus, part of AAFW’s acclaimed Panels & Conversations series.
Presented by Porsche and held at Track 8 Carriageworks, the sold-out session was moderated by Harper’s Bazaar Editor-in-Chief Jillian Davison and delved into the inspiring story behind Lesleigh’s successful Australian fashion label ALÉMAIS. Porsche Cars Australia’s Head of Public Relations, Alexis Truscott, introduced the conversation with Lesleigh and Jillian to discuss how themes of cutting-edge design, craftsmanship, empowerment, and sustainability are consistent across both industries and solidify the union between fashion and Porsche.
Founded several years ago during the depths of the pandemic-induced lockdowns, ALÉMAIS has grown from its humble kitchen-table beginnings to now operating out of a dedicated studio with retailers in more than 26 countries. Lesleigh, the brand’s Co-founder and Creative Director, revealed an array of details about her journey creating and building her popular contemporary label, whose creations cultivate a spirit of adventure and focus on artisanal quality and respect for environmental and ethical issues.
As part of Porsche’s commitment to celebrating and empowering women’s achievements, the session’s intimate and uplifting conversation revealed how Lesleigh instilled her more-than 20 years of fashion industry experience in ALÉMAIS. It also revealed her courage in establishing a successful label during such an uncertain and turbulent period. Her willingness to take risks and pursue her passion signal not only her fierce independence but also her Porsche-like mindset, which is further shown by her commitment to eco-friendly and sustainable fashion.
Lesleigh has previously said: “The world does not need another brand,” when looking back to the time of the pandemic-induced lockdowns during which her idea for ALÉMAIS sparked into life. “But I thought if we can do it a little bit better, a little more consciously, if we can look at production and our supply chain and the whole circular system with more thought and consideration, then it’s relevant.”
“We are drawn to those who take the wheel, write their own story, and inspire the innovators of the future. Lesleigh Jermanus is one such innovator.” Daniel Schmollinger, Porsche Cars Australia’s MD and CEO
Click here to watch the video.
Porsche Taycan electrifies at Afterpay Australian Fashion Week 2023
Taking centre stage throughout AAFW 2023 was the Taycan, Porsche’s first all-electric sports car model range.
Porsche’s Taycan featured at two bespoke activations, one inside and one at the entry to Carriageworks, the primary venue for this year’s events. Both activations cleverly communicated Porsche’s 75-year driven by dreams celebrations using a bright and dynamic design direction, which broadcast kaleidoscopic light within a white gallery space. The Taycans’ unmistakable design was used to highlight the refracted spectrum of these lights, creating a dichroic material-shift through the vibrant colours created. Their visual impact captivated guests, making Porsche’s all-electric sports cars a constant photographic backdrop for the duration of AAFW 2023.
Outside, the entry to the event’s Hub also featured a Porsche Taycan installed within a dichroic dimensional backdrop. Its effects created a fascinating play of sunlight on the Taycan’s exterior surfaces by catching and reflecting prisms of colour, making it an intriguing drawcard for guests.
Porsche Electric Drive Experience
Porsche’s all-electric Taycan had more than runway-model duties on its roster at this year’s AAFW. Guests were invited to experience the Porsche Taycan at the Porsche Electric Drive Experience hub, where they had the opportunity to experience the exhilarating Taycan through Sydney’s iconic streets. It was a popular choice with guests, who marvelled at the performance and design of Porsche’s first all-electric sports car.
Discover more about Afterpay Australian Fashion Week here.
Images: Camber Collective