Some of Australia’s top designers will rub shoulders on Thursday night at the historic CBD shopping destination The Strand Arcade for the 19th annual Evening With Our Designers event.

The free event (register here), celebrates the artisans, fashion designers and craftspeople who ply their trades in the arcade (which was built in the 1890s), and offers fashion-lovers unparalleled access to some of the biggest names in Australian design.

At Romolo Espresso e Cucina on the ground floor, enjoy an Espresso Martini made with Mr Black Cold Brew Coffee Liqueur and a house-made cannoli as Powerhouse Museum curators Glynis Jones and Roger Leong interview fashion designers. The sessions are already fully booked, but ticketholders can expect frank discussions with Akira Isogawa, Ginger and Smart’s Alexandra and Genevieve Smart, Aje’s Edwina Forest, and Louise Olsen from Dinosaur Designs.

On the retail front, Akira will be selling archival pieces and styling VIP shoppers, and flat footwear label Mara & Mine will be selling its spring/summer ’19 collection for the first time. Several of the arcade’s designers and retailers – including Dion Lee, Dinosaur Designs, Mecca Cosmetica, Lover and Jac + Jack will have special one-night-only offers, previews and gift-with-purchase deals. Aje, Akira, Manning Cartell, Bassike, Rebecca Vallance and Thurley will all have designers on hand to style customers.

In between shopping, sip Perrier-Jouet champagne and eat oysters and caviar at a bar on level one.

A vault packed with $5000 worth of prizes from a bunch of The Strand’s retailers will also be up for grabs. With every $300 spent on the night you’ll receive a code – present it at The Vault outside Scanlan Theodore on level one to find out if you’re the winner.

Evening With Our Designers runs from 5.30pm to 9pm on August 15 at The Strand Arcade. Registration and more information here.