We speak to New Zealand Fashion Week veteran Kathryn Wilson about NZFW19 and the secrets behind her ongoing retail successes.
Tonight on the runway debuted another stellar show by Kathryn Wilson, the theme being ‘Heels in the City’ à la Carrie Bradshaw.
Tell us about your debut show for NZFW10.
Debuting in 2010 was a fun, memorable show which introduced us to buyers in New York, L.A and Asia.
What’s it like showcasing at NZFW?
We love being part of the week of celebrations! Fashion is about story-telling and escapism, and NZFW has delivered some incredible moments over the years.
NZFW encourages bringing together designers from all generations… my heroes of the industry are Kate Sylvester, Liz Findlay, and Trelise Cooper who set the standard for us over 30 years ago and continue to pave the way for new generations of creatives to embark on their journey.
Most importantly our future fashion leaders are redefining what success looks like for NZ brands, including Maggie Marilyn, Harman Grubisa, Wynn Hamlyn, Georgia Alice, and Rachel Mills, etc.
Tell us about opportunities for NZFW19?
We are super proud to be showcasing our current Summer collections along with W’20 to over 60 trade accounts during the week and an audience of 700 in the mainstage runway.
Fashion week has evolved to allow designers like myself to do a multi-season showcase and capitalise on the must-have demand of fashion consumers.
Tell us about operating a leading footwear brand and any NZ-specific challenges.
I love being a NZ based designer, and I’m super proud to be part of such a creative, dynamic industry.
There will always be challenges, especially logistically with manufacturers being off-shore and freight timing and costs but this is not something I dwell on. We focus on delivering to our customers as if we are a global brand, making sure we are innovative in our business, and always delivering a premium product and experience for our loyal customers.
Do you have any insights into in-store vs. ecommerce retail?
They are both as important as each other, without the in-store experience we wouldn’t have the trust from customer of our comfort and fit of the designs. The strength of ecommerce is a global reach for the brand and the convenience for the customer.
We always strive to offer an ecommerce experience that matches our customer service levels in store, and leaves the purchaser feeling like they have had a great time with our product and brand. AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - AUGUST 28: Models walks the runway during the Kathryn Wilson show during New Zealand Fashion Week 2019 at Auckland Town Hall on August 28, 2019 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Stefan Gosatti/Getty Images)