NZFW Designer Reveal
The weather might be cooling down but things are hotting up for New Zealand Fashion Week with the first designer reveal released this week featuring a fantastic mix of established designers and top emerging brands and the full NZFW19 schedule and designer list promised for circulation in the months to come.
Kate Sylvester has been at the forefront of New Zealand fashion for nearly 25 years and her live shows – always a fusion of clever, cool and creative – are highly anticipated.
“We are looking forward to participating in NZFW this year and returning to where this iconic event all began at the new Aotea Square venue,” says Sylvester.
The same goes for Zambesi, which celebrates 40 years this year and whose edgy, outside-the-box design aesthetic never fails to carry through to their unmissable runways.
“Zambesi celebrates 40 years of fashion design this year and we’re excited to be showing at New Zealand Fashion Week in 2019 to mark our anniversary,” says Zambesi co-founder Elisabeth Findlay.
“Show details are under wraps, but we’ll be located somewhere in the heart of Auckland City.
“We are very much looking forward to presenting a show that reflects the significance of 40 years of Zambesi, made in New Zealand.”
Celebrated for her sustainable luxury collections, Maggie Marilyn has quickly emerged as a global leader in the sustainable fashion conversation. Founded by Maggie Hewitt, her pieces are both empowering and optimistic; she believes that style and sustainability should co-exist.
"This will be our debut show globally,” says Hewitt. “It felt really important for us to do it here in New Zealand as this is home and we wouldn’t be where we are without the constant support of our incredible local makers and supporters.
“We believe in a fashion industry that is regenerative and inclusive. This has inspired our collection and will be clearly visible in our NZFW 2019 show. Expect to see beautiful clothing and walk away with new insight into how the clothing was made and the sustainable fabrications we’ve used."
Many will know Benjamin Alexander as the winner of Project Runway, but his participation in this year’s NZFW will give guests the chance to see the full breadth of his talent in contemporary womenswear.
“We can’t wait to host our solo show at NZFW,” says Alexander. “It’s the first time we have been able to completely control the experience of Benjamin Alexander and offer a glimpse into the world we are creating for the brand.”
NZ Fashion Week rockstars Stolen Girlfriends Club, crowd favourite Adrian Hailwood, showcasing his signature fusion of glitz, glamour and Kiwi cool, and footwear maven Kathryn Wilson are also returning to the runways for 2019. Adhala Lenzo, Olli, Wicken, Jockey, Havilah and Starving Artists Fund round out the first designer announcement.
And the strength of this year’s designers is set to be closely matched by the amazing international delegates so far confirmed for the event including key buyers from David Jones and Myer, in addition to a buying team from Japan.
“We will also be hosting key media and influencers like I-D Magazine, Patty Huntington and Beck Wadworth to name just a few,” says NZFW founder and managing director Dame Pieter Stewart.
“We’re thrilled with the calibre of the designers, buyers and brands already on board for New Zealand Fashion Week this year and there are many more to come,” she continues.
Stewart says the first designer snapshot highlights NZFW’s key principles, with a refreshed focus for 2019 on supporting sustainability, inclusivity and business success in the New Zealand fashion industry.
“We’re passionate about playing a leading role in addressing social issues and encouraging the fashion industry to improve its social impact,” she says.
“And as always, New Zealand Fashion Week provides a unique environment that allows local designers to shine, both creatively and in business, building and supporting an innovative and forward-thinking fashion community.”
This year also sees a change of venue, with a move to the Auckland Town Hall and Aotea Square – and while it might be a “new” location for many, the dynamic inner-city spot was in fact where the very first New Zealand Fashion Weeks were held.
“For the first time in 15 years, New Zealand Fashion Week is heading back to where it all began,” says Stewart.
“The bustling arts and culture precinct is at the heart of Auckland city, and the close proximity to the city’s most popular retail spaces and iconic destinations – such as Queen Street, K’ Road and Ponsonby – means the event will be more accessible than ever.”
The beautifully preserved Town Hall, completed in 1911, and Aotea Square, opened in 1979 by Sir Dove-Myer Robinson, have been a hub for cultural and community events across many generations.
“We are thrilled to be bringing NZFW home, it being such an iconic heritage location in Auckland. It makes sense for us and feels like a perfect union,” says Stewart.