Three of New Zealand’s heavyweight fashion brands are about to open stores at Britomart, cementing the precinct’s position as Auckland’s most exclusive shopping destination.
Zambesi, WORLD and Kate Sylvester are all relocating to Britomart from High Street and will shortly open flagship stores on Tyler Street, adjacent to Takutai Square.
The brands represent three of the longest-established names in New Zealand fashion, and over the last two decades have all helped put New Zealand firmly on the international fashion radar.
All three stores will be on the ground floor of the 1970s Seafarers Building, which has recently undergone a facelift and extensive street-level renovation. Their Tyler Street neighbours will include action sports apparel Co-Lab, popular Japanese restaurant Ebisu and bar Tyler Street Garage.
“We’re excited about refreshing our flagship image,” says Zambesi co-owner Neville Findlay, who founded the label in 1979 with designer Elisabeth Findlay. “There’s the excitement of something new and happening in the city, of developing something special for Auckland.
“The building itself offers a lot of inspiration – its history, the lovely stud height, lots of concrete, the outlook onto the water. And I like the proportions of Tyler Street – it has the opportunity to become a compelling and intimate street.”
WORLD director Francis Hooper says they chose Britomart because they believe the precinct represents the future of boutique shopping in Auckland City.
“WORLD has always been a brand that looks forward, and we believe the future of high fashion retail lies in the historic Britomart precinct,” says Francis, who co-founded WORLD in 1989 with designer Denise L’Estrange-Corbet.
“WORLD is a luxury fashion brand, and it’s imperative that we’re amongst like-minded brands and business owners who understand the concept of boutique retail shopping. We can’t wait to begin a new chapter of luxury retail here in Auckland's most innovative fashion precinct.”
Designer Kate Sylvester, who launched her own-name label in 1993, says her company was drawn to Cooper and Company’s long-term vision for Britomart.
“Peter Cooper’s design and vision for the community is world class, and we’re proud to be one of the first New Zealand designers to open our flagship store here,” says Kate. “This is just the beginning, too
– there’s so much potential here for New Zealand retail.
“We sell beautiful high-end designer clothing and Peter has created a beautifully designed precinct for us to operate in. We’re incredibly excited.”
All three fashion houses say the Britomart parking offering, including the valet parking service, has been a key factor in the move to the precinct. The level of luxury, convenience and service offered by valet parking will make the shopping experience even more attractive for their customers.
“We’re delighted to be welcoming these three extremely important New Zealand fashion houses to Britomart,” says Cooper and Company Marketing Director Sarah Hull. “These historic brands have all established themselves as an essential part of Auckland’s identity, so they’re an ideal fit for the precinct. And having them all together on Tyler Street will be a huge draw card for shoppers.”
All three stores are expected to be open by early March 2012. The three brands will come together to stage a joint fashion show at Britomart on Saturday 3 March as part of the third New Zealand Fashion Festival. The free catwalk show will be held at Atrium on Takutai and showcase the brands’ Winter 2012 collections.
Zambesi, WORLD and Kate Sylvester join established stores Curate, Made, Kathryn Wilson and Ted Baker at Britomart, rounding out a fashion offering supported by beauty businesses Jo Malone and the M.A.C Cosmetics PRO store.
They will soon be joined by leading hair salon Ryder, which is to relocate its Bowen Avenue studio to Customs Street East in May.
“We’re proud to be bringing these iconic fashion and beauty brands to Britomart, reinforcing our commitment to a retail and entertainment mix that represents ‘best in class’ in all categories,” says Cooper and Company Leasing and Sales Director Jeremy Priddy.
“From luxury brands to hospitality, Britomart is a showcase for the very best New Zealand and the world has to offer and we look forward to continuing to build on that.”