Carolyn Taylor on supporting local fashion brands

Carolyn Taylor interview

Presenter and MC Carolyn Taylor. Images supplied.

Carolyn Taylor first burst onto our TV screens 20 years ago on What Now and since then the energetic presenter and MC has hosted or performed on a number of TV shows and at big events. She is passionate about supporting the local fashion industry and has hosted many events for NZ fashion and beauty brands while showcasing her favourite local designers on her Instagram account. Although she goes by Carolyn Keep in her personal life these days, as she married her husband Wesley in 2016, she’s best known as Carolyn Taylor, which is the name she used for her appearance on Dancing with the Stars earlier this year.

We caught up with Carolyn to find out what she’s up to at the moment, why supporting local designers matters and what her beauty essentials are.

Can you tell us what you do work-wise and what your favourite thing about it is?
Work-wise I’m very lucky to have a career that allows me to continue to mix it up. I’m Marketing and Communications Manager for the Parnell Business Association full time and I also MC, present Television, am a Brand Ambassador, a public speaker… over the 20-year career that I’ve had so far, I feel incredibly lucky that it’s been not only a ‘hands-on education’ leading me from strength to strength but also incredibly interesting, challenging and diverse.

What have been your favourite career moments so far?
It’s too hard to mention to be honest but I guess the best moments are when you GET a job that you thought was out of reach! Whether that be my first ‘adult job’ in What Now? or the sought after role I got with the Australian Grand Prix Corporation working in the number 1 motorsport in the world, or my job with The Edge radio station, or Dancing with the Stars, or Treasure Island, or Associate Producer for New Zealand’s largest Production Company, I’ve felt lucky to have all these jobs and so each moment of realisation that I can a) get a job like that to build a career, and then b) do the job well, is a massive reason to feel grateful as well as proud of oneself!

Where do you get your creative inspiration from?
I’m a massive observer and I love looking at spaces, places, people, movement…  and notice how life moves for all of us. I find inspiration in the smallest most ‘normal’ of moments, those moments we all experience… they are the moments that really build a life. Not the big ones, not the good or bad ones, but the normal moments like shopping for groceries, or standing in a line waiting, or driving and listening to the radio, or a good song, or a talk with a sibling or friends, those moments that happen over and over again, they are the moments that show us we are really alive.

Carolyn Taylor interview

How would you describe your personal style?
I’m a bit of a copy-cat and I just wear what I’d call ‘timeless classic’ and what I feel like on any given day… I’m all for dressing for comfort and mood so I wouldn’t say I fit in to any one ‘style’ unfortunately!

What wardrobe item should everyone invest in?
Boots, a coat, and a leather jacket. I realise that’s ‘items’ but they are 3 stables I always go to, the ‘building blocks’ of a wardrobe so to speak.

Do you have a style rule you always obey?
If it doesn’t fit right, don’t wear it!

What is your all-⁠time favourite purchase?
Hmmmm… tough one… It would probably have to be a jacket – for some reason, jackets are my obsession. I have far too many jackets! Maybe the blazer I’m wearing the most deserves a mention, it’s a RUBY one…dress it up, wear it with jeans, I always feel damn good in it haha!

My most memorable life purchase has nothing to do with fashion, it was the ticket of my first ever flight to Europe!

Carolyn Taylor interview

Finish this sentence – You would never catch me wearing…
I never say never. If I want to wear it, I’ll wear it and fashion is about experimenting, so I will not say I’d never wear, just in case one day I choose to!

Who are your favourite New Zealand designers/brands?
Wilson Trollope, RUBY, Amber Whitecliffe, Summers the Label, Remain, Juliette Hogan, Zambesi.

How important is it to you to support local brands? (not just fashion but in general)
I love supporting local. I have such respect for those brands I know who are forging their own paths and have the vision and passion to continue to do so in a market that’s saturated with international powerhouse labels. Mad props! I love local.

What are your beauty essentials?
Water, sleep, regular visits to Caci Clinic, Murad and Skinssmiths products, exercise (currently boxing) listening to podcasts and Ted Talks, meditation and yoga and time with those I love. A mixture of all of the above? Well they make me glow from the inside out.

Looking to the future, how far ahead do you plan and what makes you excited about the future?
I tend to be an ‘in the moment’ person – truth is, we don’t know how long we are going to be lucky enough to be here, so I’ve learned that if I think too far ahead, I’m missing out on the beauty of all that’s in front of me. In saying that, having a vision and hope for one’s future is obviously important, so it’s about navigating them both to a certain degree. None of us know what the future holds, but of course I look forward to it (and anything) with nothing but optimism else what is the point?

Carolyn Taylor interview

Images supplied.

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