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WOW – a Wellington success story with global traction

1 Oct 2018

This weekend Wellington will be flooded with thousands of visitors ready to marvel at the 30th anniversary edition of the World of WearableArt Awards Show.

wow promo 2018

And while in Wellington they will find more ways than ever before to connect with WOW, right across the wider region. 

New this year is the WOW Wander which incorporates 12 Wellington CBD sites featuring garments from WOW’s historical collection, in displays created with students from the Massey University College of Creative Arts and exhibition company, Workshop e. Regional Wellington also gets a shot of WOW with Kapiti and Lower Hutt included in a series of Surprise and Delight pop-up events.  

A record 91 retailers (eclipsing last year’s total of 74) are involved in this year’s Welly Loves WOW Window Dressing competition – including outlets in Petone, Lower Hutt and the Wairarapa.  

Capital E is going the whole hog by giving school age kids the chance to create their own World of WearableArt garments.  

Wellington Mayor Justin Lester says the cluster of activities and the ease of getting around central Wellington is a key component of what makes WOW such a special event. 

 “The star attraction is obviously the World of WearableArt Awards Show at the TSB Arena. But there are so many other satellite WOW attractions in the heart of Wellington that are in easy walking distance of not just the venue but also our hotels, shopping, eateries and other tourist attractions. 

  “It’s this concentration of experiences that helps ensure WOW-goers have a memorable time in Wellington, making them coming back for a dose of WOW in Wellington year after year.”  

WREDA CEO Lance Walker says WOW’s economic impact to the regional economy - $25.2 million a year at last count – is important but he agrees with the mayor that the story doesn’t stop there. 

“The economic benefit to the region is obviously important, but WOW also makes Wellington a richer place in many other ways. It provides significant employment, training and performance opportunities for the local creative community, gives designers a chance to showcase their work in Wellington and globally, inspires the education sector and overflows onto the streets and into restaurants and shops. 

Mr Walker says while WOW is famous on a national scale, the show’s impact and the story it tells about Wellington’s artistic, creative and events sectors is increasingly global.  

“Major international media outlets can’t get enough of the event and its unique mix of performance, art and innovation. For example, we already know that the LA Times and Australia’s ABC network are working on WOW stories, as are scores of others. 

 “And you need only consider the calibre of past WOW-winning designers, and the work they’ve done with the likes of Beyonce, Katy Perry, Madonna, Taylor Swift, Rihanna and Nick Cave, to recognise the esteem in which WOW is held.” 

Gisella Carr, WOW chief executive, says more than 60,000 people were expected to attend between 27 September to 14 October. 

 “Our partnership with Wellington is a winning formula that has enabled WOW to go from strength-to-strength. By the end of the 2018 WOW Awards Show Season, WOW will have showcased 4787 garments from designers across New Zealand and around the globe, to a total show audience of more than 770,000. 

 “This year we’re inviting the audience to embark on a journey into the unimaginable, a place of reflection, dreams and wonder for the 30th anniversary show.” 

 WOW tickets are selling fast – some shows have standby tickets only – but great seats are still available through