September 12, 2013

What would happen if you combined a night filled with the best fashion, A-grade entertainment, a cool party vibe whilst giving back to charity? That’s what founder of Fashion Aid Emma Rombotis pondered whilst watching a Victoria Secret Show one night, fast forward 6 years and the event is one of the biggest on...

What would happen if you combined a night filled with the best fashion, A-grade entertainment, a cool party vibe whilst giving back to charity? That’s what founder of Fashion Aid Emma Rombotis pondered whilst watching a Victoria Secret Show one night, fast forward 6 years and the event is one of the biggest on the Melbourne fashion calendar raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for charity.

The Fashion Aid extravaganza is happening again this Saturday night so it was perfect timing to catch up with Emma to find out how it all began, what advice she has for budding entrepreneurs and what type of work goes into such a large scale event.

Ricki-Lee Coulter by Anthony Licuria (18)

 Emma, Fashion Aid is in its 6th year and is fast becoming one of the biggest events on the Melbourne fashion calendar can you tell me more about the event? We don’t want to give too much away about this year’s event. We need to leave a little element of surprise. However I can say it’s going to be bigger and better than anything we have ever produced before. We will welcome 1200 guests to Crown Palladium on September 14 for a night of mind blowing entertainment. We will showcase some of Australia’s most talented designers in a Runway Extravaganza that brings theatre to the catwalk. Meaning that we make Fashion fun to watch for everyone and anyone.

I love that Fashion Aid celebrates our love for fashion, entertainment and charity all in one. How did you come up with the fab idea? After attending many galas and sitting on many committees my husband John and I saw a whole in the market for an upbeat, exciting gala that attracted a middle aged audience. We were in Echuca watching the Victoria Secret Show on holidays with our kids and the idea came to us. We by no stretch of the imagination wanted to attempt to re-create a Victoria Secret phenomenon however we know that we had all the professional contacts to create a fashion meets music extravaganza. And from that an extravaganza of fashion, food and sophisticated diversions was born.

fashion aid_chroniclesofnadia

LtoR | Emma Rusciano (Fashion Aid host 2013) & Emma Rombotis.  Charles Cini Silver, from CVA Property Consultants, Emma and Johnny Rombotis.

 Was it difficult to initially build awareness for your event? In our first year we were selling a secret. We built the event just on our contacts and managed to get 600 guests there. After the first year the event attracted its own guests.

 This year the event is raising money for Heart Kids, which is a fantastic organisation. What other charities have you raised money for? How do you choose which charity you will focus on each year? I meet with many charities each year and choose one that we feel is worthy. Fashion Aid is a fantastic platform for any charity to build awareness and of course raise money. This year we have had an Alfa Romeo donated that will be raffled by Heart Kids that we are really excited about.

 I love that every person that attends your event (even the celebrities) donates to the charity, which is very special. How much money have you raised for charity over the 6 years? You know I have never done a collective tally from all charities together as we approach each year as a new year. This year in the Heart Kids Pledge, Auction and Raffle that I have organised I hope that they bring in over $150,000.

 What top tips can you give other entrepreneurs like yourself wanting to start a new business? Don’t be scared to give it a go. Everyone you have to deal with is just a person. We all have the same blood in our veins so if you believe in something back it in.

How do you prepare for such a large-scale event? Do you start planning for Fashion Aid 2014 as soon as this year’s event finishes? Most definitely. Fashion Aid is a five hour event that takes 12 months to create. I have already started lining things up for Fashion Aid 2014 before Fashion Aid 2013 has happened.

 This year we will see an amazing performance from Miss Murphy from Channel 9’s, The Voice and runway shows featuring designers Arthur Galan AG, Alex Fevola’s new label CraytheLabel and more. What else can we look forward to on Saturday? Leo Sayer will have everyone dancing; Rolling Entertainment from Australia’s Got Talent will perform. We will be Launching the new Brand ‘Collective Establishments ‘ which is the new umbrella company for Melbourne’s most fashionable night spots; Mon Bijou, Baroq House and the soon to open BOND. Sarafox will debut on the runway as will Alin Le Kal, Active Runway ,Matcho Suba and Belluccio will return the Fashion Ais runway once more. The Lingerie Boutique is also set to dazzle.

Do you have any exciting plans for Fashion Aid in the future? BIG PLANS!

Some tickets are still available head to fashionaid.com.au for details.

fashionaid

Image Credit | APL Photography.

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