Amber Pinto, designer and owner of Amber Whitecliffe
Amber Pinto founded her womenswear label Amber Whitecliffe in late 2012, Whitecliffe being her maiden name, and she has become known for her lovely, feminine designs in colourful prints and flattering silhouettes. Amber opened her flagship boutique in Parnell in March 2014 and since then has watched her customer base blossom as women of all ages embrace her beautiful collections.
We caught up with Amber to find out more about her label, what inspires her and what her style tips are.
Tell us about your latest collection?
My High Summer collection 2015/16 'The Garden City' was inspired by Christchurch. As a child I visited Christchurch every second year for Rhythmic Gymnastic Nationals – I always really looked forward to it each time. It was a magical city perfect for dreams. Earlier this year I visited for the first time since the earthquake. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the garden city still held its charm and I came home inspired to create a floral range perfect for this time of year with wedding season, races, tea parties, summer BBQs etc.
What made you become a designer?
I grew up in an artistic family so the creative element came to me naturally, but sewing was only something I started at university. I kind of just stumbled across it and as each day goes by I feel so grateful to have found something to make a career out of that I am truly passionate about!
What inspires you?
I am a very visual person so anything I see goes into my mind mostly subconsciously and contributes to my designs.
Describe your personal style and how it influences your products and brand?
I grew up with two brothers, so mum always put me in the pink outfit with flowers in my hair. That femininity has definitely stuck, and I love anything colourful, sparkly and with a point of difference. Customers are always commenting on the amazing range of colour and fabric choices at Amber Whitecliffe.
What is your all-time favourite purchase?
When I was studying I worked for Trelise Cooper, I used up all my pay on a couple of very special dresses (made from beautiful sequins and silk), which I wore until they literally fell apart!
What wardrobe item should every woman invest in?
A good slip to wear underneath dresses and a pair of comfortable nude heels – perfect for any outfit.
Do you have a style rule you always obey?
If you are wearing black you must always accent it with a colourful shoe or bright lip colour.
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
It sounds cheesy but I honestly just love seeing and hearing feedback from customers who feel amazing in Amber Whitecliffe garments and say they received lots of compliments! It's the BEST feeling.
What can’t you live without?
SUGAR! Haha! And my mum & husband – I’d be lost without them.
Finish this sentence – You would never catch me wearing…
Something non-Amber Whitecliffe, unless I am playing sport!
Images of Amber Whitecliffe's High Summer 2015/16 collection from Amber Whitecliffe