Gal of Style: Alissa Wilson

Tell us about your new label, wearingJACK.
wearingJACK is a new casual-street clothing label. It’s all about laid-back cool with a range of guys and girls tees, singlets and hoodies. It was all brought about by a gap in the market for a genuinely NZ made casual-street label. There are a lot of brands that since their NZ made beginnings have taken their manufacturing off-shore, or were never that way in the first place, and a lot of people don’t actually realize that. Tags with “Designed in NZ” can be misleading, so wearingJACK is all about offering a 100% NZ made, quality & sweatshop free product that takes everything that is inherently kiwi and wraps it up in some very comfy, cool and guilt free threads.

For the first collection, you have used designs created by young, up and coming NZ design talent – why is it so important for you to support emerging talent?
Supporting and getting behind our own in NZ is a massive part of wearingJACK’s philosophy. wearingJACK is young, new and going through the same motions as a lot of young Kiwis out there trying to make their mark. Encouraging young artists to submit designs for our prints was something I knew I wanted to do from the start because I genuinely believe there is so much talent out there looking for an opportunity to be noticed. New Zealanders are funny in that we are extremely patriotic, we love NZ and we do in theory love the idea of home-grown, NZ Made, NZ talent and so on, but in reality a lot of the time people almost need affirmation from elsewhere that something is good before they will really get enthusiastic about it. By using these up & coming designers, or even non-designers who just have a good idea, we are giving them an opportunity to get their work out there, get noticed, make a bit of cash and even add it to their CV to help with future opportunities. And from our perspective it’s great because we are constantly getting fresh ideas, new talent and a real variety in print designs from the very people who we want to see wearingJACK.

Describe your personal style.
I would be lying if I said I wasn’t your comfort-first kind of girl…so it’s quite fitting that wearingJACK is about laid-back cool. For me my job is a dream in that I can turn up to work in a singlet, jandals and shorts every day if I want to.

Who is your favourite NZ designer?
Charmaine Reveley. I really admire her passion and drive for what she does. Her collections are always so elegant and unique.

What is your current favourite item of clothing?
I’d have to say this summer my jean-shorts have been getting a lot of action!

What is your favourite fashion purchase of all time?
Probably a pair of ‘Faith’ boots I brought in London. When I was living in Mexico I went to London for a few weeks to catch up with friends, and because I’d been backpacking my wardrobe was extremely limited. I brought the boots in desperation so I had something other than jandals to wear in London, and then had to carry them in my backpack around South America for 8 months. They took up precious cargo space and got used once or twice during the 8 months, but I couldn’t bring myself to leave them behind.

What has been your biggest fashion mistake?
I dyed my hair black once. I’m naturally blonde and was going through a rebellious streak. It was horrific and something I’ve since destroyed all evidence of.

What’s your must-have item for winter 2011?
A wearingJACK hoodie, they are soooo cosy. Absolute necessity for snuggling up over winter.

Where in NZ do you think is the most fashionable?
Surely Wellington during Sevens weekend!

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