An embattled Central Otago fashion event promises a fresh vision and renewed purpose going forward as the event looks to return in 2023.
WoolOn Creative Fashion Event began in its current format in 2004 and was a key event of the Alexandra Blossom Festival, held in September each year.
In 2016 it became its own entity and a major Alexandra event, attracting national and international entries.
In recent years the event was dogged by controversy cancelled event and struggle to form a committee in 2019, a contentious relocation from Alexandra to Cromwell, designer boycotts and an attempted coup within the incorporated society.
In 2020 the event unravelled due to Covid-19 restrictions on gatherings.
On the heels of a successful show in 2021, the virus continued to plague organisers with the 2022 event cancelled due to ongoing uncertainty.
On Sunday at a high tea held at The Packing Shed Gallery and Cafe, a new-look committee revealed plans for WoolOn moving forward.
Vice-chairwoman Maxine Williams told a crowd of about 35 people the committee wanted not only to engage support, but attract people who actively wanted to help.
“We agreed that we would use this opportunity to rebuild for 2023 .. we are a small team believing in the future of WoolOn,” she said.
“We’ve agreed we want to deliver this inspirational, unique experience and continue to inspire our community and audience and partners possible without a strong committed committee.”
Designer liaison Jamie Richards said the 2023 event would be held at The Canyon at Tarras Vineyards, however there was nothing preventing it from being held in Maniototo or Teviot Valley in the future.
“Our vision as a committee is to make it a Central Otago experience.”
WoolOn will be held August 13-14, 2023.