Dame Pieter Stewart steps back from New Zealand Fashion Week


17 years ago, Dame Pieter Stewart DNZM and a small group of fashion industry professionals decided New Zealand needed a fashion week and so the tennacious Stewart brought that dream to life.


14 New Zealand Fashion Weeks (NZFW) and more than 900 designer shows later, Stewart is incredibly proud of what NZFW has achieved for the industry, but believes she has taken the event as far as she can personally and it’s time for someone new to run NZFW.


As a result of this decision, at the end of NZFW 2015 Dame Pieter Stewart will step back from her role as Managing Director of NZFW. This change will see her continue to own the event and drive it from a part-time Consulting Director position.


NZFW Brand Manager, Myken Stewart will also be moving on from her role after NZFW 2015 and is currently transitioning someone into that role, who will oversee the sponsorship process in 2016.


For Stewart personally, stepping back from the day to day running of the event will give her time to explore new opportunities. Aside from being able to spend more time with her family, she will continue to develop her idea of forming a Fashion Council for New Zealand and pursue governance roles.


Stewart believes the New Zealand fashion industry needs support at a strategic level and is currently working with a core group of advisors, while having ongoing discussions with the Australian Fashion Chamber and British Fashion Council, as she develops her plans for a New Zealand Fashion Council. This will be a key part of her focus after NZFW. 


Over the past two years NZFW has been approached by a number of potential suitors for the business. Stewart believes NZFW will continue successfully without her and there may be an individual, or organisation, that has what it takes to transition the event into its next era and the Stewarts are open to engaging in discussions with interested parties. 


If a new ownership model does eventuate, Stewart and her core team would continue to work on the event through whatever transition process is required, but until that time, it is business as usual. 


Stewart and her team are busy pulling together what is shaping up to be an incredibly strong 2015 event, their 15th year, with a fantastic group of designers confirmed to show collections across the week and weekend schedules and an exciting group of international guests lining up to attend the event.


And with just 90 days remaining until NZFW, the 2015 event is looking like the strongest yet! 


Image: New Zealand Fashion Week

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