First designers announced for New Zealand Fashion Week 2019

NZFW 2019 first designer announcement

Designer Maggie Hewitt’s Maggie Marilyn label will make its runway debut at New Zealand Fashion Week 2019. Image supplied.

New Zealand Fashion Week 2019 is already only a couple of months away with the first designers for the event announced today reflecting NZFW’s new ethos. Earlier this year NZFW declared a focus on sustainability, inclusivity and business success which makes for an exciting initial line-up of established and emerging designers including some of NZ’s top brands and rising stars. This year’s event takes place from August 26th – September 1st at Auckland’s Town Hall and Aotea Square.

As sustainability will be a central tenet of this year’s event it makes sense that it’s the first time sustainable luxury label Maggie Marilyn will present a NZFW runway show. In fact its designer and founder Maggie Hewitt’s first proper runway show with her brand enjoying stellar success locally and internationally since launching in 2016.

“This will be our debut show globally,” says Maggie 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.”

NZFW 2019 first designer announcement

Zambesi finale at NZFW 2017. Image by Katherine Tuenter.

New Zealand Fashion Week stalwarts and industry veterans Zambesi celebrate 40 years in business this year with the brand planning something special to mark its remarkable anniversary. Zambesi have long done some of NZFW’s most visionary shows so their 40th anniversary show will be one not to be missed.

“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.

“We are very much looking forward to presenting a show that reflects the significance of 40 years of Zambesi, made in New Zealand. Show details are under wraps, but we’ll be located somewhere in the heart of Auckland City.”

NZFW 2019 first designer announcement

Kate Sylvester finale at NZFW 2017. Image by Katherine Tuenter.

Kate Sylvester has also been capturing hearts and imaginations at NZFW for many years with the designer returning to the runway again this year with what will be a creative showcase of her clever take on fashion. “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 Kate Sylvester.

Fashion is very much a circular business and so it is fitting that New Zealand Fashion Week returns to its original home at Auckland’s Town Hall and Aotea Square this year where it will offer exciting activations for the event.

“For the first time in 15 years, New Zealand Fashion Week is heading back to where it all began,” says NZFW founder Dame Pieter 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.”

“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.”

NZFW 2019 first designer announcement

Designer Benjamin Alexander will make his NZFW debut this year. Image supplied.

The venue will be a first for designer Benjamin Alexander, who many will know as the winner of the first season of Project Runway New Zealand in 2018. Benjamin has been working on developing his own eponymous womenswear brand and will make his NZFW solo debut this year.

“We can’t wait to host our solo show at NZFW,” says Benjamin 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.”

Known for their rock’n’roll shows and killer parties, Stolen Girlfriends Club will be showing again at NZFW 2019. As will glamour king Adrian Hailwood and shoe queen Kathryn Wilson, both of whom are always NZFW drawcards.

Adhala Lenzo, Olli, Wicken, Jockey, Havilah and Starving Artists Fund have also been announced for this year’s event and New Zealand Fashion Week will continue announcing designers as the event draws nearer.

Aside from the strength of our amazing New Zealand designers, the international delegates bring a global side to the event with key buyers from David Jones and Myer, in addition to a buying team from Japan attending NZFW 2019.

“We will also be hosting key media and influencers like I-D Magazine, Patty Huntington and Beck Wadworth to name just a few,” says 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.”

Dame Pieter is delighted that this year’s event is shaping up well around NZFW’s refreshed focus for 2019 on supporting sustainability, inclusivity and business success in the New Zealand fashion industry. NZFW has long championed New Zealand designers and has been a springboard for many to international success.

“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.”

Images supplied.

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