For a country that’s relatively bijou in size, New Zealand has some seriously big designer talent working its shores. I discovered this first-hand when I travelled to New Zealand Fashion Week in Auckland for the first time recently.

While fans of fashion will already be familiar with established brands like Huffer, Trelise Cooper, and Georgia Alice, there are seriously impressive local talents with all the goods necessary – designs, brand, vision, even marketing chops – to be the next big thing on a global scale.

Here are 10 New Zealand fashion brands shown at NZFW that you mightn’t have heard of yet (if you’re not a kiwi) but lovers of style should get to know pronto. Plus, we offer GRAZIA’s pick of the pieces available to buy from each right now.

#1: Stolen Girlfriends Club

Offering rock-punk men’s and women’s pieces with swagger, this brand was the one supplied most of the shock moments at NZ Fashion Week. Founded in 2005, by three friends Dan Gosling, Marc Moore and Luke Harwood, Stolen Girlfriends Club makes streetwear, party-crasher gear, jewellery, accessories, and eyewear, often stamped with rebellious slogans and laced with rock and roll attitude. It’s now sold in over 13 countries and positioned in mid-to-high-end boutiques and department stores. Think oversized hoodies, sequinned bodysuits, ripped denim and skull pendants. Follow Stolen Girlfriends Club on Instagram here.

GRAZIA LOVES THIS:


Stolen Girlfriends Club, Pretty in Punk Dress in Magenta, NZ$329 (A$305).
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#2: NOT FOR YOU

This high-end streetwear label might be predominantly male-oriented, but the fact half of its models during NZFW were really, really cool women shows its transcendence. Hand-made in Wellington in very limited runs of each piece, it’s both edgy and unique. Designer Jerome Taylor, a one-time roof tiler and salesman, brings plenty of his own personality to the label, which has also shown at Toronto Fashion Week and been worn by America’s Next Top Model judge Miss J Alexander and Stan Walker, who was a surprise model in his 2018 runway show. Inspired by art, music, and world events, Taylor – with his giant rugby-esque physique – isn’t your typical fashion designer, which is precisely why his pieces have cut-through.

GRAZIA LOVES THIS:


N.F.U, White Not for you Bomber, NZ$400 (A$365).
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#3: Knuefermann by TK

The name might sound street, but this label founded in 2005 by Turet Knuefermann works to an elegant, refined, feminine aesthetic. Minimalist with a sexy edge, Knuefermann pieces are more timeless than trend-driven; classic coats, oversized knits, relaxed suiting and slip dresses are the staples, with bold pops of colour like red and sunflower yellow in block hues as accents. Follow Knuefermann on Instagram here.

GRAZIA LOVES THIS:


Knuefermann by TK, Rebel red slip, NZ$369 (A$336).
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#4: Caitlin Crisp

Without a doubt, the standout student show of New Zealand Fashion Week, if not of any newcomer show I’ve seen globally in 2018. Young Caitlin Crisp might still be learning, but her natural talent left buyers and editors at her showcase – part of the group student show – with eyes and mouths wide open. Her tailoring in luxe fabrics was masterful, with fanciful feather accents. Sheer silks and layered gingham was the stuff of fashion fairytales minus the cliches so often stubbled into by start-up designers. Just look at the banner at the top of this story (all pieces in her student collection) and you’ll see what I mean. Another McQueen in the making? Perhaps. Follow Caitlin Crisp on Instagram here.

GRAZIA LOVES THIS:


Caitlin Crisp, Velvet Suit with Ostrich Feather Sash, POA.
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#5: Meadowlark

Launched 12 years ago by married duo Claire Hammon and Greg Fromont, this label has already enjoyed considerable commercial success as a boutique brand outside of New Zealand. (It’s apparently Lorde’s favourite jewellery brand.) The campaign artworks displayed during an editor and influencer lunch were shot by GRAZIA cover photographer Steven Chee, a nod at the brand’s high-fashion world pull. Meadowlark makes jewellery for both men and women that are modern and unique, each piece like a tiny artwork. It does a strong trade in engagement and wedding pieces, but everyday pieces like chains and earrings are on offer too. Follow Meadowlark on Instagram here.

GRAZIA LOVES THIS:


Meadowlark, Gold Plated Pebble Choker, NZ$1395 (A$1273).
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#6: Harris Tapper

When friends and former fashion industry colleagues Sarah Harris Gould and Lauren Tapper noticed a gap in the local market for high-end tailored shirts, their label Harris Tapper was born. Each beautifully made, classic but directional, their shirts aren’t cheap but are the epitome of luxury wardrobe. Fabrics like sheer silk blend and lurex threading add to the wow-factor. These are premium pieces that still cost just a portion of the price you’d find for something similar at Isabel Marant or Jacqeumus. Follow Harris Tapper on Instagram here.

GRAZIA LOVES THIS:


Harris Tapper, Lizard Shirt, NZ$595 (A$543).
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#7: Wynn Hamlyn

Auckland designer Wynn Hamlyn established his eponymous label in 2014. Just four years later, his runway collection was one of the most critically acclaimed at New Zealand Fashion Week. Though a self-confessed fashion school drop-out, Hamylyn is a master of technicality and classic tailoring with a youthful spin. The designer, who moved to Australia to hone his craft before launching his own line, focuses on locally-sourced fabrics like merino wool when possible. His leather and cotton ready-to-wear pieces complete the natural fabric compliment. Follow Wynn Hamlyn on Instagram here.

GRAZIA LOVES THIS:


Wynn Hamlyn, Dakota Leather skirt in cream, NZ$1100 (A$1004).
SHOP NOW

GRAZIA thanks New Zealand Fashion Week and M Social Hotel Auckland for hosting our Fashion News Director Rachel Sharp during #NZFW2018

 

thoughts?