While everyone’s concentrating on the imminent arrival of H&M and Zara, some smaller international labels have quietly shown up recently. Footwear retailer Dune London and skincare company Aesop are now celebrating their first Kiwi footprint.
Australian-founded Aesop has more than 150 stores worldwide. It is well-known for its innovative and stylish store fit-outs – the Adelaide store sports a ceiling made from 7560 amber glass bottles, while the Nolita outlet in New York involves 400,000 sheets of paper from the New York Times.
Details of Aesop’s first Kiwi store in Newmarket have not yet been released, but the 80sqm space was designed by local architects Patterson Associates. It features native timber weatherboards and weathered galvanised steel. The store is to open with one store manager and three part-time employees
this Thursday, September 8. [EDIT: Aesop has advised that the store will now be opening on Friday, September 9.]
UK footwear and accessories retailer Dune London opened its first Kiwi store in Newmarket’s 277 shopping centre last Thursday. The label describes itself as ‘affordable luxury fashion’ and caters to both genders.
Dune London was founded in 1992 and has more than 300 stores worldwide, plus a presence in major UK department stores. Its New Zealand presence follows a successful US launch in 2014, and is part of a growth push into the Middle East, India and South Africa.
Dune London director of international Ben Jobling says New Zealand is an exciting new market: “With Auckland being its fashionable capital, we are eager to see the reaction of the customer in this new market.”
The label operates in New Zealand under a franchise agreement signed late last year by the owners of Kiwi shirting business 3 Wise Men. Co-founder Richard Miles says he approached Dune in 2014 in “a quest to bring the brand I always admired to New Zealand.”
Miles says he has plans to open between 15 and 20 Dune-branded stores over the next three years. A second Dune London store is to open in Auckland’s St Lukes shopping centre in early October.