As models, hairstylists, make-up artists and of course, designers, descend on Auckland, it can mean only one thing - Fashion Week is upon us.
For the designers, the annual event is a chance to experience the glitz and glam while networking with other creators, influencers and buyers - an increasing number of whom are coming from overseas.
Now in its 17th year, the event kicks off on Monday, with 83 designers showing at 49 shows across the seven days.
The half-hour spectacle of a show can cost a brand $60,000 or more depending on the venue, entertainment and post-event parties. The week as a whole costs more than $2 million every year, says founder Dame Pieter Stewart.
Liz and Neville Findlay created the Zambesi brand 38 years ago and have shown at Fashion Week since its first year.
"It's a lot of work that goes on for 15 minutes of fame," says Neville Findlay.
"On-site is less expensive but you still have venue costs, model costs, producers, technicians putting it all together and just the costs of creating enough of a collection to be able to show your brand - that's costly in itself."
He says the rapidly changing pace of the fashion industry means showing collections and promoting the brand are becoming increasingly important.
In previous years, a brand might have released between two and four product lines a year, but an industry shift towards fast fashion means new products are being introduced weekly - and in some cases, daily.
"Fashion week is pretty important at the moment given the whole industry is in a state of change or flux," Findlay says.
"It's important to be out there and learn more; even labels that are as established as us are having to learn the new conditions and new ways of succeeding."
Zambesi will open the week on Monday as this year's Mercedes-Benz Presents designer.
As well as the accolade and recognition the Mercedes-Benz Presents title provides, it also means there are no conflicting shows on the day, and Zambesi has the pick of models and crew without them having to run to the next show.
It may not be a lucrative event for those showing their collections, but it is worthwhile for the brand awareness and publicity, says Liz Findlay.
"It has to be about that creativity, not the money," she says. "It's hard to make money in this industry, you have to just love what you do and be really passionate and resilient."
For Jockey, who are showing this year with All Blacks as their models, the event is a chance to gain greater exposure for the brand.
Jockey marketing and category manager Will Radford says it is a great driver of fashion for the industry.
"For us, it turns what could be a high-impact billboard for a lot of people into something that's a lot more tangible and real. It makes the brand very accessible to people and brings it to life," he says.
"It also helps us elevate our brand across New Zealand, and the All Blacks being at fashion week is a really good way for us to get coverage and bring a campaign to life."
The idea for Fashion Week in New Zealand was born in 1999, after several Kiwi designers returned from showing at an event in London. Stewart says she realised there was no such platform for designers in New Zealand.
Over the next two years, she managed to source $2 million of funding and in 2001 the event launched with 43 designers showing over two days in Auckland's Town Hall.
"Getting it off the ground the first year, it was in the vicinity of just over $2m. Every year we have to find that much at least, if not more - it is a lot of money."
Stewart says the business of fashion is relentless, with designers "putting everything on the line" for their collections in the hope that people will like them.
"It's nerve-racking. [Fashion] is a tough business, but then, what business isn't tough these days?"
In 2015, Stewart stepped down as managing director of NZ Fashion Week, although she has maintained a role as director of the event.
The week may not generate huge revenue for the designers, but data from sponsor Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (Ateed) shows that between 2012 and 2016 it generated $6.2m for the Auckland regional economy and 14,000 visitor nights.
Charmaine Ngarimu, Ateed head of major events, says the organisation has been a sponsor since 2010.
"In alignment with [Auckland's major events] strategy, NZFW generates money for the local economy, brings visitors to the region, and drives international exposure for both Auckland and some of New Zealand's leading designers," she says.
The organisation invested $225,000 a year in 2012 and 2013, and $200,000 each year between 2014 and 2016. This year Ateed has put in $150,000, with Ngarimu saying the investment in major events is based on available funding each year.
Some of this funding has been allocated to bringing international buyers, social media influencers and bloggers to the event to better showcase the brands. New Zealand Fashion Week business development manager Janey Evett says this helps boost international exposure.
"We have worked quite strategically this year to determine who will be the best fit for the New Zealand market and most advantageous to host; whereas in past years the VIP list has been more media driven, this year we have focused more on the buyers," Evett says.
According to data from international organisation Fashion United, annual retail sales of fashion in New Zealand were $3.3 billion.
Last year, representatives from Australian department stores David Jones and Myer attended New Zealand Fashion Week, looking to scout some of this country's top and emerging brands for their order books.
International interest in New Zealand has grown significantly in recent years, with brands such as H&M, Zara and Tiffany opening Auckland stores.
Stewart says one of the goals of the event is to provide an ecosystem in which younger designers can thrive and grow.
The industry has changed a lot since she started out.
"When I started there was no fashion PR, no hair or makeup teams that did shows and only a handful of models in New Zealand - a lot were brought in," Stewart says.
"Very few people had done big shows, let alone international ones, so all of that is part and parcel now and I think it has helped fashion designers become celebrities and stars in their own right.
"Fashion Week has helped to cement New Zealand fashion as a major industry."
• Starts Monday
• 17th year
• 49 shows
• 83 designers
• 30,000 attendees last year
• $2 million cost of event
• $150,000 invested by Ateed