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ON Wednesday night David Jones showed the best of their New Australian designer offerings, Daniel Johns performed and models Jessica Gomes and Montana Cox opened the Spring/Summer 2015 runway show.

Our designers have a unique point of view and standouts included Dion Lee, Christopher Esber, Bassike, Bianca Spender and Zimmermann.

David Jones has marketed these exclusive brands, which in turn has helped turn them into well-known names.

And yet with all the talk of booming house prices, I was surprised to read that clothing prices have only increased by 1 per cent since 2000.

Jesinta Campbell walks the David Jones catwalk, cheered on by front row guests the Today

Jesinta Campbell walks the David Jones catwalk, cheered on by front row guests the Today show team and fiance Buddy Franklin. Picture: Alex Coppel. Source: News Corp Australia

Australia’s standard of living has risen a lot in the past 15 years. Rewind to 2000 when John Howard was Prime Minister and the average fulltime wage was $43,000, and the median house price in Sydney was just $287,000.Cut to today and the average wage has nearly doubled to $79,500 but the median house price in Sydney has tipped a whopping $1 million, hence I suppose it’s fair to assume that on average we have bigger mortgages and less disposable income to spend on our wardrobes.

If clothing prices haven’t increased at pace with inflation and we all have less to spend, there is naturally going to be a squeeze and our designers have felt it.

David Jones dress rehearsal and show - imagery plus video

Models Montana Cox, Jessica Gomes and Jesinta Campbell wearing Jets during the David Jones Spring/Summer 2015 show at the Sydney CBD store. Picture: Jonathan Ng Source: News Corp Australia

I’ve long lamented that some clothing has been sold so cheap that many consumers think it’s fair that their jeans cost less than their lunch, making fast fashion too disposable.



The price of dinner in a good restaurant in Sydney has certainly increased more than 1 per cent and we are spending more money than ever eating out of the home.

That and the cash we are spending on our wellbeing (fitness, vitamin supplements etc) is also eating into the disposable income we might once have spent on clothes, which just means our designers need to work harder than ever to get our attention and pry open our wallets.

From what we saw on the runway at David Jones this week, they are doing an excellent job of it.

Gigi Hadid (left) was front row at the show. Picture: Toby Zerna

Gigi Hadid (left) was front row at the show. Picture: Toby Zerna Source: News Corp Australia

This week the Australian Fashion Chamber announced its first Designers Abroad program, a showroom for carefully selected members who applied to be part of the next Paris Fashion Week in October. The Americans have been doing this for 10 years and have successfully helped build and support a new generation of designers through the work of the Council of Fashion Designers of America’s programs and its Paris showroom.The British Fashion Council is 20 years old and has also been attracting buyers and media to its showroom in Paris in which many well-known British designer names have been launched. The strength of showing together makes it easier to attract influential buyers and press to one space rather than to many smaller showrooms spread around the traffic-logged city. A buyer who comes to see one brand might discover another.

It’s an exciting opportunity.

Originally published as Designers need to seduce dollar wise consumers