It’s no secret that Canberra’s fashion scene has been changed for the better with the influence of power couple Clint and Andrea Hutchinson. It would be hard to argue that there was much of a visible fashion scene at all before Fashfest, and as someone who remembers attending thrown-together independent shows in creepy warehouse spaces or soulless corporate events in malls, I’m personally very thankful for what this has meant for Canberra.
It is tremendously exciting then to be able to announce that Clint Hutchinson will be leaving his full-time position as Managing Director of ZOO Group to kick start a new chapter in his life, which will include dedicating more time to building Fashfest as Canberra’s pre-eminent red-carpet fashion event.
After co-founding Fashfest four years ago with his wife Andrea, now Managing Director, the couple has decided it’s time to devote more energy to the event, as well as a range of other exciting initiatives they’re developing in the fashion and broader creative space in Canberra.
This includes building a unique creative incubator that will support the expansion of HAUS Models, an agency the couple co-founded after the inaugural Fashfest. They also want to formally launch and fully develop NOMI (pronounced ‘know-me’), the new children’s label they surprised guests with on closing night at Fashfest 2016 (stay tuned for a review of the surprise collection coming shortly).
Although it’s too soon to announce formal details, the creative incubator will support fashion labels, musicians and other creatives who want to build their business acumen, using what Clint has learned during his 15 years in business as a strong base.
Clint will also become a partner in Braddon Tailors, taking this unique and already successful brand even higher up the fashion chain, including here in the capital and in its newest locations, Adelaide and Sydney.
‘We also have other ideas in the very early stages which we’ll develop along the way,’ says Clint. ‘These are exciting times.’
Clint will remain a shareholder of ZOO Canberra and will devote most of his time to Fashfest starting in 2017. In the meantime, he will continue to work on some projects with ZOO, out of the group’s new office in Green Square, until the end of 2016.
‘I fully respect the amazing talent at ZOO Group and appreciate the support of the team in understanding my need to begin the next creative chapter of my life,’ says Clint. ‘It’s been a privilege to be part of the business for so many years.’
This is all fantastic news for Clint and Andrea, and I cannot wait to see what this new direction will mean for Canberra and for Fashfest. It is so important for our city to have the support and dedication of passionate people to nurture our talented creatives, and it is really inspiring to see this growing every year.