Carolyn Wilson from Orlando. Image supplied.
Carolyn Wilson is the founder and designer of womenswear label Orlando which is based in Timaru. Orlando is stocked throughout the South Island with a couple of stockists in the North Island and a bustling online store. Carolyn has designed the brand with the modern woman in mind offering lots of easy, versatile options that can be dressed up when required. Orlando is proudly designed and manufactured in New Zealand.
We caught up with Carolyn to find out more about her brand, what inspires her and what you would never catch her wearing!
Tell us about your latest collection?
We don’t design collections as such – we are fortunate to have our own in house design and manufacture team and we are able to design what inspires us on the day! This enables us to respond to trends and feedback from stockists and customers quickly.
What made you become a designer?
An evolution rather than a plan, having mostly worked in the fashion industry in various forms I decided to take on the design process rather than relying on what was available. The designs were always in my head anyway so why not really.
What inspires you?
Absolutely everything – fabric, magazines, movies, social media, celebrities, random things in everyday life. I think if you’re a visual person you just have your radar naturally tuned into creative possibilities.
Winter look by Orlando.
Describe your personal style and how it influences your design?
My personal style is feminine, floaty and pretty but my preferences influence the brand only minimally as Orlando is a lifestyle brand, we aim to design what our customers want to wear and to respond quickly to the feedback we receive from our agent and our customers.
What is your all-time favourite purchase?
A timeless Jackie O-esque black shift dress that I bought from a vintage store in Santa Monica many years ago.
What wardrobe item should everyone invest in?
A well-cut quality blazer is a wardrobe investment.
Do you have a style rule that you always obey?
I can’t think of any, I don’t think fashion is about rules.
Winter look by Orlando.
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
For Orlando it has been setting up our own on site design and manufacturing team rather than outsourcing. This has been beneficial in every way and it feels good to know that we are supporting local talent in what has been a hugely shrinking industry in New Zealand. I feel very hopeful and positive that NZ made is going to have a resurgence and that this will matter to consumers going forward.
What can’t you live without?
Hmmm… probably lipstick – on a bad day there is always lipstick. In the words of Elizabeth Taylor “pour yourself a drink, put on some lipstick & pull yourself together” on those days when you’re under par and challenges can overwhelm, just keep moving forward, fake it till you make it!
Finish this sentence – You would never catch me wearing…
Drop crotch pants!