'Kidz Fashion Week' is Australia's preeminent Children's Fashion runway event, founded by Greek Australian Terri Svoronos that gives thousands of children of all shapes, sizes and cultural backgrounds across Australia the opportunity to showcase their talent in a way that supports diversity and inclusion.
This year for the first time ever and something that the fashion world has never seen, children will style themselves with the help of the 'Kidz Fashion Week' team.
"There was no platform in Australia on a National level to celebrate kids fashion. Everywhere else in the world it's a huge thing - like Russia Kids Fashion Week, India Kids Fashion Week and New York Kids Fashion Week, so I decided Australia needed one too. But ours was going to be all about the kids first and the fashion show would be the end result," Terri said.
She also notes that her Greek background had a major influence on this project. "As a child who was training in this industry from 3 years old- singing, dancing, acting and modelling, there were hardly any opportunities for an ethnic kid to take part. It was all about the blonde and blue eyed kids - we are talking about the 70’s here in Australia, so I made a promise to myself that If I was ever in a position to create opportunities for all ethnicities that I would do it and Kidz Fashion Week is one of the most culturally diverse and inclusive events in the country - not only ethnic diversity - all children colour, race, shape, size or special needs is welcomed to audition and participate."
Every year since the first show in 2014, 'Kidz Fashion Week' has had some amazing designers and brands on board including: Myer, Cotton On Kids, Target, AFL, Best & Less, Mini Raxevsky, Versace, Designer Kidz, Sudo Kids, Betts Kids, Mossimo, Bardot Jnr and many more national brands.
However, Terri is a pioneer and wanted to invent a new idea that stands in a world where so many conform, which is where the idea for 'Kidz Fashion Week Ur Style' came about. "This way the kids could tell us what their style was - from DIY to putting together their own looks. We didn’t completely leave out our brands- we created a smaller marketing opportunity where we had a 'preferred brand/sponsor list' that the kids could go to see if anyone of them was their style..." Terri continued.
The first stop for the 'Kidz Fashion Week Ur Style' national tour was held in Melbourne at the end of December 2019, and was one of the biggest and most spectacular shows they have done in the last 6 years. "We had 2 shows in one day a matinee and an evening show. We held it at the most fabulous venue The Planetshakers Centre in Southbank and over 370 kids were involved. This year it was all about #UrStyle where the kids got to tell us what they wanted to wear - so the DIY, and colours were awesome. We had some amazing talent that also performed, a young and exciting new find Andrew Efthimiadis who is of Greek background, did a Justin Beiber Tribute Show within amazing FMD Dancers who came all the way from the Philippines. Andrew opened the Matinee show and was also joined by Riley Thomas who just returned from the School of Rock Tour who closed the show with a Kelly Clarkson power song - Stronger!..It’s more than just a runway show its a 2 hour entertainment filled performance that attracts the media because of it’s difference. We had an amazing 13 year old designer Denzel Designs who exhibited his own designs and is also on the national tour with us - this is all part of a new initiative I have called #kidpreneurs!"
"This show is a platform to empower our youth. As a teacher (Bachelor of Education - Primary Teaching) I can go on & on about the benefits of performing and how it absolutely 100% aids confidence in kids and this is the sole mission of Kidz Fashion Week to create a platform where children can fee empowered. Being in a live performance where they don’t have to speak but are still exhibiting to a receptive audience and being applauded does so much for a child’s confidence, it’s a feel good moment - and I have seen children that came in tears so fearful of getting out there change and become so confident coming off my runway, running into their parent’s arms with so much joy and the words ringing “Mummy can I do that again - it was so much fun!” The endless emails and testimonial we receive from parents thanking us are worth more than anything else! From backstage to with professional child chaperoning team 'Kidz on Set', the children have so much fun and the team are there to ensure the kids are in a safe and nurturing environment so that they can excel in their performances. We take our duty of care very seriously and permits are obtained through the Child Employment Offices in every state and we adhere to the Madatory Code of Practice when engaging children in any exhibition."
Children of all shapes, sizes and cultural backgrounds between the ages of 5-17 take part in the event, including children with Down Syndrome and kids in wheelchairs. "This year in Melbourne we had two kids in wheelchairs and one down sydnrome boy as well as a couple of kids with Autism - they loved it and we love having them - KIDS ARE KIDS and they all deserve to shine whether they are special needs or not - I don’t separate if they are able and we can make it work for them - why not! The joy we see in their families faces when they have their turn on the runway is priceless in a world where they may be totally excluded we welcome them!"
'Kidz Fashion Week' is a platform for all children to have a go and feel great while building their confidence! And this year is no exception with 'Kidz Fashion Week Ur Style'.
Details and Ticket Purchases:
Saturday 11 January 2020: Gold Coast (Sea World Resort Conference Centre Seaworld Dr, Main Beach QLD 4217)
Saturday 8 February 2020: Sydney (Norths Cammeray, 12 Abbott St, Cammeray NSW 2062)
*Images courtesy of Fiona Hamilton Photography