FREE|STYLE with Julie Roulston #12



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



Pannee Ng


You can read a New Zealand Fashion Week international VIP ‘reveal’ here on FREE|STYLE, from today and every week until Fashion Week itself.  This week meet (drum roll)…Pannee Ng of, Hong Kong.

Ng is co-founder of online three-site network Popcorn Media, and Managing Editor of Butterboom, the network’s English language fashion and beauty website which boasts 78,000 visitors/month.

Butterboom covers high end designer store openings in HK and ‘up-and-coming designers’, reviews collections from luxury brands, and interviews designers and CEOs.

Note that at the time of writing Butterboom's HK$22,000/wk banner ad appeared to be populated – ka ching!

Bryan Boy and Anna Fitzpatrick, NZFW 2008


New Zealand Fashion Week is justifiably proud of the internationals it has brought to New Zealand over the years, in some instances before said VIPS became globally recognised on their present grand scale.

Hilary Alexander made Tanya Carlson’s career in an instant when she praised the designer’s 2001 show.  Alexander was a guest of Fashion Week in the same year as top fashion commentator Colin McDowell’s first visit.

Tim Blanks was a guest in 2004 and spoke at an intimate NZFW luncheon at the Hilton; there has been Rebecca Weinberg (2002), Diane Pernet (A Shaded View on Fashion) (2005), The JC Report (2006), Bryan Boy (2008); and more recently Rumi Neely (Fashion Toast), Gala Gonzalez, and Nicole Warner (Gary Pepper Vintage), among others.

Media and bloggers aside, there have of course been Pamela Anderson, Richie Rich and Nicole Miller.




Adrian Hailwood has developed six shoe styles for Mi Piaci, which will drop into store in early September.  There are limited pairs of each of the six styles, which include a gold python shoe, a suede patchwork boot, and a black suede shoe with lime and pink fluorescent trim.  We’ll be seeing the complete capsule launched on the runway at Hailwood’s New Zealand Fashion Week show, with the shoes themselves available to purchase from Mi Piaci stores, the next day.

Wellington fans will also be pleased to know that Hailwood will be available at Kirkcaldie  and Stains this season, with the store creating a dedicated Hailwood section.


Angela Roper

In further shoe news, we felt a little déjà vu at the Ziera new season launch a couple of weeks ago.  That elusively familiar,  warm and credible woman was…Angela Roper, formerly of ground-breaking New Zealand design store Eon.

Founded in Kingsland in 1999 and subsequently successful for several years in Beaumont Quarter, Eon relocated to Britomart at the end of 2007, “three months before the recession hit…It was all very new and we were sticking our neck out,” says Roper.  “The growth was all there but I had never experienced the bubbles that the economy can generate…everything went on a go-slow”.  Eon went into receivership just 10 months shy of its 10-year anniversary.

Roper work with the receivers for a year, and then went to work at Bobux children’s footwear.  “That’s where I met an amazing European shoe designer (Jana Buchs from the Czech Republic) and I discovered that shoes are like design objects but you can wear them,” she says.

Roper left Bobux to take on the role of Group Design Leader at Ziera five months ago.  She was drawn to the new challenge of working in a large NZ export business – there are 45 Ziera stores in New Zealand and Australia and 500 independent retailers around the world.


Farmer’s video

Farmers has introduced video to its seasonal media presentations, the Spring/Summer 2012/13 version of which took place at Generator in Britomart, co-hosted by the retail chain’s PR firm Pead.

Styled by Victoria Harvey, the clean, low-key footage unashamedly takes its inspiration from ASOS, and Farmers are looking to release new clips regularly. The video is designed to inspire people on how to wear garments from 4,500 styles across Farmers 30 womenswear brands, with the stylist free to mix garments up as she sees fit.

Also proudly on show were the new Kenneth Cole – Reaction handbags and wallets.  Buyer Marilise van der Walt is quietly developing a designer following within her department.  Her most recent success is Australian label Ooh la la, whose sales have grown 78% season on season, seeing the brand now stocked in 35 of Farmers 55 stores nationwide, from a start of 10 stores, just a year ago.

– Julie Roulston


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