FREE|STYLE: lavish PR, a celeb jeweller-in-the-making, and HYPE comes to Auckland

Editor-at-large Julie Roulston brings FashioNZ readers the very best from her fashion beat, each week…



Georgia May Jagger was recently announced as new ambassador for Sunglass Hut

You may remember there was a hue and cry earlier in the year, when a member of the Australian PR industry said that the Fairfax restructuring and general decline in print, may be good for PR clients “with redundant journos on the job market and a single well placed story likely to go across multiple platforms.”

Well, call it coincidence, but it looks like local PRs are getting some good budget to work  with at the moment.

Pre NZFW, Beat PR took fashion press to Roxy’s for champagne and a three course lunch as guests of the Sunglass Hut.  There was a brief (and super interesting) trends presentation from Australian Sunglass Hut representatives, but the treat was pitched as a pre-Christmas thankyou to the media and pleasure was certainly the focus.  The spoiling was topped off by a gift of gold fold-up Ray-Bans to each writer present.

Last week Specsavers and their PR firm Mango took a more intimate, less ‘digital’ group to Fish at the Hilton for a degustation lunch developed to represent each of their four sunglasses trends for the season – and gifted invitees two pairs of prescription sunnies each, for them to wear and enjoy as influencers.

On Thursday Cool Charm and the PR Shop took media guests to lunch at the O’Connell St Bistro to celebrate a new TVC with Zowie as spokesmodel.


A PR told us at one of the events, that it’s no longer enough to entice media with a glass of wine, to look at a new release.  And that in the same week that Patty Huntington posted:  “I find it terribly naive of anyone connected to fashion blogging who claims to be shocked by the news of five figure blogger appearance fees.”

Perhaps that Communications degree wasn’t such a bad idea after all?


Nick von K and friends c/- The A-List


I’ve long had a soft spot for NIck Klarwell (a.k.a. Nick von K), and admired his work.  Last week Nick launched his beautiful ‘Viva la Victory’ collection at a cool space, to a cool crowd – nothing notably calculating about this, it seems to be in Nick’s DNA.

I did smile to see the designer having a big front row week at New Zealand Fashion Week, but you know what?  He deserves it.  Nick is pals with international fashion megastar Nicole Miller – a friendship and business connection brokered via NZFW; Colin M-J is his spokesmodel; and in these high scrutiny cam-everywhere days, he looks the part and brings a rock ‘n’ roll glamour to any occasion.  Viva M Klarwell!


On a less fan-girl note – Nick’s work really is stunning and original.  FREE|STYLE was particularly impressed by the selection of props used to display/offset the collection, which belied an artist’s eye.  Note the freshness of the symbolism used, too – not a skull in sight for late ’12.  There’s also a generosity of spirit behind Viva la Victory, which “aims to inspire personal success and revolution in those who wear it.  Every piece…represents a component of a happy and fulfilling life, and challenges its wearer to be victorious, every day.”


Fans of Lucy Kemp’s adorable label Pardon My French will be excited to learn it will be stocked in new ‘concept clothes store’ Hype, which is to open from 5 October within CO.SPACE, a recently opened mixed use production and bar/cafe development at 155B Karangahape Road.  HYPE will stock mens’ and womenswear, as well as limited edition pieces from young and established fashion and product designers.


Owner Kit Lawrence will open with his own mens’ sportswear range ALEXANDER BALFOUR's 1977 as well as new labels M P, 6 x 4 and Nymphets. As well as several tee shirt and cap labels there will limited edition footwear, framed prints, accessories and HYPE branded items for sale. ALEXANDER BALFOUR SWIM will be available from November.

Kit writes “HYPE aims to keep events frequent and fun, with relaxed DJ events and bi-monthly late night shopping nights. Prices are firmly in line with a credit crunched populace, ranging from simple totes at $40 to lined trench coats under $400.”

Designer Steven Park (picture Chris Park, NZ Style Collective)


Kit is a British artist, designer and musician who has been based in Auckland since 2007. Born in the year of punk (where his 1977 range takes its name) Kit grew up “surrounded by the trends that have shaped modern style”.

FREE|STYLE asked Kit what had driven him to open a store in a difficult post-GFC environment. He replied  “As for the credit crisis, the problem is, as always, landlords. We have a great deal which makes it viable…Obviously the rental drives the prices down so we’re going to be keeping ours sensible, there’s a lot of overpriced stuff out there. especially in Auckland. A lot of the people that clothing s designed for, or looks best on, can’t afford it and we are all aware of that at HYPE.”

He continues “Most importantly the brands we have are very beautifully considered, not simply transient trend-based crap…(the garments) are also very well made, here in New Zealand.  I personally know everyone involved in every aspect of my clothing, from the woman who does my snaps to my fabric suppliers, and it’s part of my political feeling that the money goes back into the economy.  Not that I’m flying a banner about it, but it’s true of all the HYPE labels and something worth showcasing I think.”

– Julie Roulston

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