Richmond Fashion Festival transforms into an online extravaganza for charity

The long-planned Richmond Fashion Festival has been moved online and become a charity extravaganza with an auction, competition and online gallery.

The Richmond Fashion Festival was planned for launch in September to bring the high-street alive with outdoor stages, fashion shows and stylist workshops.

When marketing and businessman Eddie Ottmann was faced with cancelling the fashion festival due to Covid-19, he decided to turn the event into a virtual one.

The online campaign displays photoshoots of local retailers’ garments, a charity auction and a competition – all in aid of charity.

Ottmann, from New Malden, said: “I wouldn’t be defeated by the pandemic – if you knew Eddie Ottmann personally, you would know he does not give up.

“When the lockdown has lifted, the fashion sector is going to have faced a body blow.

“Rather than start afresh, we thought we’d have some foundation in place we can build on.”

THE CATWALK CONTINUES: The LOVE fashion competition launches on Tuesday, with the chance to win the pictured Joseph Ribkoff coat (right). CREDIT: Jon Daly Photography and Nikon

The fashion festival supports the charity Fashion & Textile Children’s Trust.

The charity provides financial support for families in the UK fashion and textile industry.

Anna Pangbourne, director of Fashion & Textile Children’s Trust, said: “We’re delighted to be the chosen charity for the Richmond Fashion Festival.

“As a small charity, we are really grateful for the support of fundraisers who believe in our work and want to help us to continue our vital service.

“All proceeds go towards providing essential items for children across the UK, who are living without the things they need, like warm clothing, comfortable places to sleep and cooker to heat their meals.”

Ottomann explained that with retail staff being made redundant every day, more families are in need of financial support to care for their children.

The festival’s charity auction includes lots from designer dresses to a safari in Africa.

Valentine’s Day 2021 is the deadline to make a bid.

The fashion festival sourced all resources for free, from the photographer to the models themselves.

Ottmann said: “The council didn’t think I could manage to do this in two months.

“But Eddie, a fast-track, marketing, advertising agency man, thought anything is possible if you’re prepared to work through the night.”

The original Richmond fashion festival was three years in the making.

Stages were intended to be set up on George Street, Richmond, during London Fashion Week.

On Tuesday, the fashion festival will launch their LOVE Fashion competition, Love is in the Air.

The winners will receive prizes ranging from a Joseph Ribkoff designer coat to an overnight stay at the elegant 4-star The Petersham Hotel.

The virtual fashion show is leading up to the ‘Richmond Fashion SpotLight’ and ‘The Richmond Fashion Show’ in Spring 2021.

Featured Image: CREDIT: Jon Daly Photography and Nikon

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