New Zealand Fashion Week was abuzz last week with the news that several of the All Blacks would be walking the runway for Jockey, clad in only the underwear brand’s latest collection.
However there was also a gorgeous lady on the runway with the lads too, new brand ambassador Nikki Phillips, the New Zealand born, Sydney based model and fashion blogger who definitely gave the rugby boys a run for their money on the catwalk.
FashioNZ were fortunate enough to be invited to meet the lovely Nikki before her runway appearance for Jockey and chat to her about her new role with Jockey, her favourite kiwi labels and her style tips for summer.
FashioNZ: Congratulations on your new role, how are you feeling about your new contract with Jockey?
Nikki: I’m very honoured to be the ambassador for Jockey both for NZ and Australia, which is a first and pretty much dream job really. The moment that I found out that I was offered the job it was squeals and dancing around the room.
Obviously to be back here in New Zealand for fashion week is exciting too. It’s been a long time since I was involved in a fashion week here. It’s really nice to be back here and supporting NZ. Seeing how much NZFW has evolved and seeing how it shapes up with fashion weeks around the world, I’m liking every aspect of it all.
FashioNZ: What drew you to Jockey?
Nikki: It’s such a fun brand and I think that was so important for me. Not only is it great quality but I love the Parisienne collection, being so very full of lace and colours and very feminine. It’s very on trend with me.
The brand being so fun is perfect for me as I don’t take myself too seriously at all and I think that’s the most important thing, to have fun as it makes my job a lot easier and just suits me to a tee.
FashioNZ: How are you feeling about getting on the runway for Jockey with the All Blacks today?
Nikki: It’s been about four or five years since I’ve been on a runway so hopefully it all comes back, but I’m really excited to be here today. I find being a front rower for the past three years, when I see models strut down the runway, automatically my shoulders start strutting.
It’s something that you never kind of forget. I’m sure the guys are a bit nervous too but kudos to them as well. It must be a new experience and a bit daunting for them. The moment I found out the All Blacks were going to be a part of it I did some extra crunches and weight lifting, had to maintain the athletic body to strut down the catwalk with them. I must admit I might go off and do some squats before the show (laughs).
FashioNZ: Since you’re NZ born and newly married to a kiwi (musician Dane Rumble) as well, who are your favourite NZ designers?
Nikki: Obviously Karen Walker is a stand out. She’s amazing. Trelise Cooper. I’m a huge fan of Trelise as a person as well as her vibrant brand and always fun collections. I love Kate Sylvester too. I’m also a big fan of Juliette Hogan and was lucky enough to pop along to the show last night.
My schedule’s a bit full on for the next day or so I was very happy to go along to that. I’m very proud of our New Zealand designers and will try and support them as much as I can when I’m in Australia. I do love living there but I’m back here as much as possible.
FashioNZ: Tell me about your fashion blog Styled by Phillips?
Nikki: I’ve had my fashion blog for nine years now; I’m one of the originals. Its fashion based but it’s also an intimate diary of my life, it follows me behind the scenes for shoots. This whole trip for Jockey I’m documenting and writing about. It’s giving people an intimate look at what happens in my real life.
Everyone sees the social photos and those glamorous shots but they see little of behind the scenes, which isn’t always glamorous. I like to keep it real and I like to keep it very me.
FashioNZ: How would you describe your personal style?
Nikki: I’m not a trend follower. I’m very classic and chic but always like to add that little Nikki edgy twist that can be in the accessory department or I’ll go for something really pretty and glamorous, but then I’ll add a gladiator shoe. Obviously today in the middle of winter I’ve decided to go for a fluro crop top, I’m so rebellious (laughs).
I think the key with fashion is to be confident in what you wear. Love the styles that you pick and wear things that suit your body shape. That’s the big thing that people get wrong, they try and follow a trend but no one is the same. Dress for your own style and your body shape.
FashioNZ: What are your must have pieces for this coming season?
Nikki: I’m all about the one piece swimsuit for summer. It’s never really gone anywhere and it makes me laugh how people are like ‘Oh my god, the one piece is so on trend this year and it’s making a comeback!’ I don’t think it’s ever gone anywhere I just think the cuts are getting a little sexier and more sophisticated.
There are a lot more different materials and colours and patterns to it now. It is something I’m loving and I’m experimenting with colour a lot more. I’m normally a tonal girl and I’m really trying to incorporate those pops of colour where I can which is new for me. It’s just too easy to pick up a pile of black clothing and know it’s going to work.
FashioNZ: What are your style tips?
Nikki: To me it’s all about finding those amazing investment pieces and paring them back with those affordable basics that you wear every day. It’s always about that price point mixing. I’m all about handbags and shoes, they’re my weakness. I’m going to pass my handbags down to my kids you know.
I treat myself to handbags, they’re my well done. So when I’ve done a good job or got a new contract it’s my congratulations to myself. I treat myself. The older you get the more you realise comfortable shoes are a must too, even at fashion week.
Jockey is available at Farmers stores, other independent retailers and online at www.jockeynz.co.nz.