GUTTED: Sunshine Coast Fashion Festival founder and director Jacinta Richmond has made the heartbreaking decision to shut down the popular festival.
GUTTED: Sunshine Coast Fashion Festival founder and director Jacinta Richmond has made the heartbreaking decision to shut down the popular festival.

Fashion festival comes to ‘heartbreaking’ end

MONTHS after cancelling its 2019 event, the Sunshine Coast International Fashion Festival has come to a "heartbreaking" end, announcing its permanent closure today.

Founder and director Jacinta Richmond said a great deal of consideration went into the decision.

The initial cancellation left local designers gutted.

"While there is a long list of reasons to keep the event going, there is an equally long one to simply stop," Ms Richmond.

She said without a venue that could adequately fit the event on the Sunshine Coast, the event had no where to grow into.

"No one really has any idea as to what is required to put on such a large-scale fashion event, just from a venue point of view," she said.

"When you need to fit 600 guests and growing plus a cat walk and media front of stage, a trade lounge area fitting up to 50 stall spaces, and a back of house encompassing over 200 people, 80 garment racks, hair and make-up teams, and all of the three-phase power that goes with that, plus break out areas and five star accommodation on site or within walking distance, the Sunshine Coast just doesn't measure up.

"There is nowhere for the event to grow into, there is no infrastructure and there is no support within the region."

 

Model Taylor Ridley (16), wearing Czarina Kaftans at Coolum at the Sunshine Coast International Fashion Festival last year. Photo Lachie Millard
Model Taylor Ridley (16), wearing Czarina Kaftans at Coolum at the Sunshine Coast International Fashion Festival last year. Photo Lachie Millard

 

Ms Richmond said the festival began as a simple fashion parade took on a life of its own and a long list of firsts.

Even the first event included international brand Ed Hardy on the catwalk.

"I am still unsure how I pulled off Ed Hardy as a label. I had no background, no experience, I didn't even have an event yet. I called them and they said yes. It was a ballsy move," Jacinta recalled.

On top of closing the festival, Ms Richmond's personal life has been in distress for much of the past decade.

Her daughter battled an extreme illness for three years and she lost both her parents.

"Sure, it took stamina but when I think about the journey, I am proud of the journey, my daughter, the event and everyone who ever participated or attended - and I am exhausted."


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