Adapting fashion trends for the mass market at The Warehouse

  • Design
  • August 29, 2018
  • Sarah Pollok
Adapting fashion trends for the mass market at The Warehouse

Melanie Cutfield has been the creative director at The Warehouse since the beginning of 2016, establishing a design team to analyze trends and come up with design concepts for their ‘Head to Toe’ fashion range. We talk to her about the influence of New Zealand Fashion Week and how affordable fashion labels are getting smart about style.

How have you seen digitalisation affect the fashion industry?

Digitisation has had a huge influence, it’s definitely changed the way designers analyse trends and create collections. When I was working in London it was pre-internet so we would look at what was released on the catwalk and then design and develop a high street version of that. But now, people are a lot more informed about what’s on trend, so retailers have to really step up their game.

Do you still think the catwalk is as powerful as it used to be for directing the future of fashion?

See, the catwalk used to be the thing that drove all of the fashion and then the magazines would present that vision back to the consumers. However with technology being so accessible and street fashion becoming popular, it isn’t necessarily high-end fashion houses driving fashion anymore, or big marketing companies with million dollar budgets, it’s social media influencers.

How has social media changed the fashion game?

Over the years we’ve seen a sort of flattening our social classes due to social media. Now, everyone has a voice and I think that’s why companies feel like they need to buy someone with a following because you can’t buy that from advertising companies. Even some of the high fashion houses have taken on designers, Virgil Abloh is now the designer for Louis Vuitton and he used to be the ‘Off-White’ designer with quite a rough background. It’s started a trickle-up effect, without a doubt,

You’ve worked overseas in fashion and here in New Zealand, how do you think Kiwi fashion measures up?

Oh, I think retailers who disregard New Zealand designers and fashion trends are missing out.  When I first started working here, I stopped taking my lead from the northern hemisphere and starting looking at New Zealand labels to understand the look and feel New Zealand women aspire to. That had a huge impact on our sales because there are certain things Kiwis value in terms of design.

What are some ‘classic kiwi trends’ you see in the fashion industry?

In terms of colour palette, you can definitely see a lot of earthy tones, a lot of rich burgundy, greens and browns. As an outdoors country there is definitely a trend towards activewear and clothes that are comfortable and adaptable.

​ ​

This is a community discussion forum. Comment is free but please respect our rules:

  1. Don’t be abusive or use sweary type words
  2. Don’t break the law: libel, slander and defamatory comments are forbidden
  3. Don’t resort to name-calling, mean-spiritedness, or slagging off
  4. Don’t pretend to be someone else.

If we find you doing these things, your comments will be edited without recourse and you may be asked to go away and reconsider your actions.
We respect the right to free speech and anonymous comments. Don’t abuse the privilege.


Direct sales: How multi-level marketing works

  • News
  • April 18, 2019
  • Sarah Dunn
Direct sales: How multi-level marketing works

The $200 million-plus direct sales economy contains many lessons retailers can use. As part of a wider look at this thriving corner of retail, we created a quick explainer showing how this business model typically works.

Read more

Direct sales: Meet the upliners

  • News
  • April 18, 2019
  • Sarah Dunn
Direct sales: Meet the upliners

We profiled different participants in the direct sales industry to find out what retailers can learn from them. Meet Isagenix distributors Adam Nesbitt and Bianca Bathurst.

Read more

Direct sales: Meet the business builder

  • News
  • April 18, 2019
  • Sarah Dunn
Direct sales: Meet the business builder

As part of a wider story looking at what retailers can learn from the direct sales industry, we profiled Isagenix distributor Ben Frost.

Read more

Social scoreboard

Zavy and The Register have worked together to create a scoreboard that compares how the top 25 traditional media advertising spenders in New Zealand have performed on social media over the past 30 days, updated in real time.

Concept to closet
Business coverage of New Zealand Fashion Week.
Town centres
A positive retail environment over the past 12 ...
Amazon Arrival
Keeping up with all things Amazon as it ...
The Retail Yearbook 2017
As we battle our way through the busiest ...
Hospitality enhancing retail
Some think food and integrated hospitality offerings will ...
The future is bright
We spoke with four retailers in their twenties ...
Spotlight on signage
At first glance, the humble in-store sign might ...
Red Awards 2016
The Red Awards for retail interior design celebrate ...
Auckland Unitary Plan
Auckland is changing. The Unitary Plan will decide ...
How to open a store
Sarah Dunn considers what it would take to ...
All things to all people
Kiwi retailers share their omnichannel strategies.
Rising stars
Retail's top young achievers.
Delivering on your promises
The sale isn't over until your item is ...
Retail in heartland New Zealand
Retailers keep the regions pumping, but how strong ...
Women in retail help one another. We spoke ...
The changing face of retail
Shifting demographics are creating big changes in New ...
The retail yearbook
With the help of experts in the retail ...
Retail rogues
We put the spotlight on staff training. Jai ...
Here come the giants
Topshop has arrived in Auckland’s CBD, David Jones ...
Window shopping: A spotlight on social media
Sarah Dunn and Elly Strang look at how ...
From retail to e-tail
Ecommerce has become part of the way mainstream ...
Loyalty in the digital age
How are retailers maintaining loyalty? Sarah Dunn, Elly ...
The Innovators | In partnership with Spark Business
Technology is rapidly changing the retail industry as ...

Leveling up: Exploring multi-level marketing in New Zealand

Is the $200 million-plus direct sales economy retail by another name or something different? Regardless, what can we learn from it?


A spectrum of retailers

  • Opinion
  • April 18, 2019
  • David Farrell
A spectrum of retailers

In recognition of April being Autism Awareness Month, retail commentator Dave Farrell considers the role of those on the spectrum in retail.

Read more

How on-trend is your retail business?

  • Sponsored Content
  • April 18, 2019
  • Sponsored content
How on-trend is your retail business?

New insights from Visa highlight five evolving trends emerging from savvy retailers around the world. We’ve taken these global trends and looked at how they are playing out with merchants in New Zealand, and we’d now like to hear what you think of them.

Read more
Next page
Results for
About us.

The Register provides essential industry news and intelligence, updated daily. And the digital newsletter delivers the latest news to your inbox twice a week — for free!

©2009–2015 Tangible Media. All rights reserved.
Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Privacy policy.

The Register

Content marketing/advertising? Email or call 022 639 3004

View Media Kit