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What we can expect at this year’s “Fashion + Aid”, Melbourne 2018

FASHION + AID 2018 is proudly sponsored by Mercedes-Benz Melbourne and is ready to strut some of Australia’s hottest designers and threads down the runway at the inaugural event, to be held on Saturday 1 December at Peninsula, Docklands in Melbourne.

Extravagance and decadence can be expected this year, with a list of incredible designer’s show-casing their latest collections, including: Todd Anthony Couture, Azzaro Menswear, Judith Penak Couture, 2Royal kids wear, Kuba Fashion House and Salih Nesim Couture.

Since its inception 11 years ago, FASHION+AID has continued to push the boundaries of encompassing fashion, music and entertainment all wrapped up into an exclusive sell out event. This year FASHION+AID will be hosted by Sam Kekovich, and also welcomes our partners, Mercedes-Benz Melbourne and Bondi Blue Vodka.

The inspiration behind this year’s event is none other than ‘The Greatest Show on Earth’, so ladies and gentleman, start hunting for those 2-3 piece suits and evening dresses because this year’s event will be just as much about you on the red carpet, as it is the designers showcasing on the catwalk.

Zoe Hooper with Fashion Aid Co founder John Rombotis


Melbourne My Style sat down with a few of the presenting designers to talk about their collections and what Fashion Aid, Melbourne 2018, means to them.


AZZARO presents -VERSES Man & Polo Azzaro

Luciano and Jane Azzaro

Luciano Azzaro was born in Prato, located in the heart of Tuscany, not far from Florence. The city is renowned for its textiles and this is where Luciano’s career in fashion began. “Textiles and fabrics are what Luciano has always known” says Jane Luciano’s wife.

In the early 1960’s, Luciano studied textile and design in Prato. Shortly after finishing his degree he moved to London and began working on Savile Row, a street in Mayfair that is famous for its tailoring. Positions with several well-known fashion brands followed, including men’s footwear brand Aquila, assisting to gain franchisee of Pierre Cardin and one year spent helping establish Christian Dior. 

In 1981, Ermenegildo Zegna formed collaboration with Versace, to produce the Versace Classic V2 label, which is now called Versace Collection and Luciano was asked to handle the wholesaling for Australasia – and this is how the Azzaro business was born. Success ensued, with the designer fashion label quickly gaining popularity.

Azzaro specialises in fine tailored and fashion clothing from some of Italy’s premier fashion houses and is the exclusive Australasian distributor for Canali. Over the years has also been the Australasian distributor for Versace Collection, Roberto Cavalli, Iceberg, Roberta Scarpa, Scervino Street, Byblos and more. 

Since Azzaro was first established, Luciano has noticed major shifts in the way Australians view fashion. “More Australians are now travelling the world and in doing so are being exposed to different types of fashion. People aren’t as afraid to use colour anymore. “When people travel, they get to experience food, but also the fashion. Travelling can lead to people acquiring different tastes. Fashion is like food, if you venture out to try something new and end up liking it, you never look back.”

Luciano and Jane have been responsible for dressing numerous celebrities and travel to Italy regularly to visit fashion shows and view technical presentations of new collections.

Jane has been passionate about drawing, painting, graphic design, ceramics and photography since her teenage years. She began her tertiary studies majoring in photography, printmaking and life drawing. This was followed by degrees in fine art, graphic design and textile design. Jane started working in fashion after meeting Luciano, utilising her design background to help push the business forward, among other things, Jane looks after the business’ marketing, advertising, social media, graphic design, photography, website and fashion shoots. “She is brilliant at what she does,” says Luciano.

Luciano and Jane’s own label – VERSES man and Polo Azzaro were launched out of a desire to express their own creativity. “We had wanted to start our own label for a Long time. The opportunity came up after we were contacted by someone in Italy and invited to see their factory. We decided to go for it to see how it went, and so far both labels have been very popular,” Says Jane. These brands we want to continue to develop and grow. It reflects the eccentricities in our personalities.

Fashion Aid is a wonderful way to use fashion and the social scene to raise money for great causes. “It will be exciting to see our VERSES Man Collection on the Fashion Aid Runway and seeing Melbourne come together as one. Helping people and giving back is very important to us” says Jane and Luciano 


 Kuba Fashion House

“Kuba Fashion House presents a chic prêt-à-porter collection for women.  Each garment has been designed and finalised by Creative Director Jakub Trofimiuk with close attention to detail that compliments the feminine line using professional European craftsmanship and opulent fabrics.  The collection offers a timeless and classical European style in a variety of beautiful colours that can be dressed according to any occasion”

“Fashion Aid is a wonderful opportunity for me to show my collection for the first time. Fashion Aid raises awareness about important charities and gives designers an opportunity to present their work”

Todd Anthony Couture 

Designer Todd Anthony

The Todd Anthony label is a non-binary or non-gender specific label. This is a slow fashion label, in that all items are made on order with no stock held, clients choose from the sample range and experience a one to one service with Todd. 

The Todd Anthony label is locally manufactured using locally harvested fibre. At its core to design decisions, the Todd Anthony label is sustainable and transparent. 

“Todd Anthony Couture is inspired by a blend of masculinity from Art Deco and the femininity of the Art Nouveau movements with elements of design extracted from Japanese and Korean flora and Australian Flora, Todd Anthony plays on the beauty of gender, fluidly and nature”

“Fashion Aid is an iconic annual Melbourne fashion event that highlights important charities. This year I decided to take part in Fashion Aid as TLC for Kids, Australia’s most inclusive charity for sick children and their families celebrates 20 years. This charity is one very close to my heart for very personal reasons and anything I can do to assist young children who are unwell I will do”

Judith Penak Couture

Melbourne Stylist Lynette Pater with Couture Designer Judith Penak

“My passion and my label, is a well-established and reputed high couture brand in Melbourne, Australia. Born and bred in Prague, I inherited natural instincts towards fashion and designing, as most of us are aware, Prague has been one of the most buzzing fashion hubs around when it comes to style, women’s dressing and culture”   

“Judith Penak Couture represents uniqueness in designs, care and dedication through its intricate stitch work and fabrics, which includes natural fibres. My passion is about understanding clients’ needs until the gown is designed and delivered to their choice and expectations”


”In 2015, I was fortunate enough to attend a Fashion +Aid event for the first time. It broadened my awareness of how fashion could contribute to so many noble causes. Humanity is still the core to any success or achievements.  I strongly wish to avail this beautiful opportunity to not only showcase fashion in the classiest way, but to also be a part of the contribution towards betterment of society and human lives”

“Melbourne has been my city and it also has been the most liveable city for many global citizens. Melbourne city has promoted many artists and cultures and has been a hall of fame for global celebrities’. This event will spread awareness among many cultures and citizens of the world”.


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