5 kiwis making a big impact on the international fashion stage
For such a small country, New Zealand has had more than its fair share of international success.
From the world dominating All Blacks to the record Oscar-winning Peter Jackson, there are few areas where Kiwis aren’t punching above their weight, and the fashion industry is no exception.
These five players in the fashion world are currently setting the industry on fire, making a name for themselves globally, and once again showcasing New Zealand’s talents to the rest of the world.
Fashion sense runs in the Wickstead family, with Emilia’s Mother Angela, starting her own fashion business with a boutique in Parnell, Auckland.
As stylish as Parnell is, if you want to study fashion, then go directly to the source, and at the age of 14, Emilia moved to Milan with her mother.
It was onto London after that, where she studied fashion design and marketing at Central Saint Martins Art School. Internships in New York with Giorgio Armani and Vogue magazine followed soon after.
At the age of 24, her boyfriend gave her £5000 to start her own business, and she was soon making made-to-measure pieces for London’s high society.
Still based in London, she had her first showing at London Fashion week in 2012, with her style described as “graceful”, “understated elegance” and her choice of colours as “pretty but not saccharine”.
Madeleine Harman and Jessica Grubiša
Madeleine Harman and Jessica Grubiša are two fashion designers living and working in Auckland, having met while studying fashion design at Whitecliffe College of Arts and Design.
In 2014, both designers joined their respective labels together, fusing two very different styles to create the Harman Grubiša label.
In 2016, the two best friends were chosen as Mercedes-Benz Presents Designer, the prestigious accolade that recognises the best and brightest fashion designers around the world.
Harman Grubiša’s entrepreneurial success and timeless, classic design appeal, has rendered it one of New Zealand’s most exciting new fashion labels. The brand presented its 2017 Autumn/ Winter collection as ‘Mercedes-Benz Presents Harman Grubiša’ at the August 2016 New Zealand Fashion Week.
New Zealand needs to be careful with Georgia Currie – much like Crowded House, Russell Crowe and the flat white, Australia is trying to claim her.
Born and raised in Christchurch, the up and coming designer moved to Sydney when she was 16 to study ballet. It was here that she discovered her love of fashion.
Her label, Georgia Alice, started four years ago and is designed “for girls and women who dress for themselves. Cool girls – tomboys.”
Georgia was named Elle Australia’s Emerging Designer of the Year in 2015 – a testament to her soaring success. Having also caught the eye of celebrities like Beyonce and her sister, Georgia Alice is a brand that has the potential to become one of the most recognised names in the industry.
As a 24 year old tramping around New Zealand, Jeremy Moon discovered something that would change his life.
A merino grower showed him a prototype fabric he’d developed from 100% merino wool. This soft, non-itch, lightweight fabric was nothing like the rough, scratchy wool Jeremy had grown up with.
Realising the potential for this new type of fabric, which was not only natural but bio-degradable, Jeremy quit his job and started the Icebreaker company.
Ten years on and Icebreaker had grown to become New Zealand’s leading outdoor clothing producer and exporter.
The ultimate plan is to have thousands of stores and for Icebreaker to be a billion dollar brand.
Hailing from the Northland region, Maggie Hewitt is the youngest person on this list, having only just graduated from Art college.
The 22 year old has made a big splash in her first year in the industry, with her brand Maggie Marilyn catching the eye of Lisa Aiken, fashion giant Net-a-Porter’s retail fashion director.
“Finding a designer who can deliver a beautifully edited collection of must-have pieces with immaculate execution for their first season, is a very rare occurrence, but Maggie Marilyn has done just that and at a contemporary price point, too,” says Aiken.
Net-A-Porter’s “phenomenal” global sales of Maggie’s designs led to her featuring on Vogue.com sealing the young new designer’s reputation as one of the industry’s freshest and most promising talents.
Maggie is also very conscious about the industry’s impact on the environment and the people involved along the chain.
She spent a full year researching the negative effects the fashion industry has, and as a result is now passionate about her clothing being made in New Zealand – making sure she knows who makes it and where the fabrics come from.
“I know I can, hopefully, make positive change.”
How we are assisting young designers
We work with small, local business and young designers who are just starting up, giving them the delicate touch that they would usually only get with local suppliers.
On top of that, we’re also in prime position to help you when you are ready to expand and grow.
We have a large international network that makes the complexities of dealing with a global supply chain so much easier.
When it comes to international sourcing and contacts, local suppliers are out of their depth and struggle to handle and co-ordinate the increased complexity and workload.
With our years of experience and expertise in the fashion industry, we can take you under our wing and guide you to the next level.
Contact us today if you have any questions about what we do, or how we can help you with brand recognition to put your clothing label on the international stage.