MasterChef sparks new craze

MasterChef fans tune in for the food, but many are now turning in for another unexpected part of the reality cooking show.

MasterChef fans tune in for the food, but many are now turning in for the fashion tips.

Judge Melissa Leong’s outfits have become so popular, designers around the country see sales spike – with some items selling out – after each episode airs.

And with a large focus on showcasing Australian-run, female-led fashion businesses, Melbourne-based womenswear brand OnceWas designer and director Belinda Glynn said Leong was helping the struggling retail industry.

When Leong wore the OnceWas Atoll Tie Waist Cotton Broderie Dress during last year’s series, sales tripled on the item and Glynn said they expected a similar reaction after June 24 when Leong is set to appear in their white Atoll Cotton Broderie Dress.

“Melissa has the rare combination of being able to carry off aspirational style while still being relatable to a wide demographic,” Glynn said.

“With the ups and downs of retail over the past year, we are very grateful for the support of style icons like Melissa helping promote Australian brands to wider audiences.”

Australian label TORANNCE founder and designer Julia Hemingway said it was wonderful to see Leong supporting local brands and adding an element of fashion to cooking.

“When Melissa wore the TORANNCE Floating On A Cloud Maxi Dress in Azalea Pink on MasterChef (2020), it sold out immediately and we were inundated with requests for this dress,” she said.

“The retail industry, like so many other industries, suffered under the strain of Covid-19 and many promotional/marketing budgets were cut or pulled completely.

“So it was fantastic having the support of such a well-known TV figure – supporting the brand and the industry in general.”

For Leong, it was always her intention to make the most of being the first female judge on MasterChef Australia.

“To showcase as many Australian-run, female-led businesses has been a point of focus from the beginning and it makes me so happy to hear that the impact has been positive,” Leong said.

“It means a great deal that the MasterChef audience have embraced this new chapter and everything that comes with it, and if I can contribute towards driving demand for Australian fashion to our global audience, why wouldn’t I?

“I believe in lifting others up at every turn, and with such talented creatines making beautiful things right here in this country, now is a crucial time to shine a spotlight and help keep labels running and the fashion industry thriving.”
MasterChef airs Sunday to Thursday, 7.30pm on Ten.

Entertainment – syndicated | Herald Sun