Where did the idea come from to launch a secondary range, I AM, into Farmers’ stores? Was it something you’d wanted to do for a while?
We have always wanted to do a diffusion brand, to create a broader offering for the New Zealand market. I AM is a play on Colin McCahon and the individuality it stands for, as well as my initials. We have been incubating I AM for a couple years, refining the recipe and looking for a big-volume retailer to allow us to reach more New Zealand women.
What are were the key differences from your Andrea Moore range when it came to designing your I AM range?
I AM is little more preppy and structured than Andrea Moore. The I AM girl isn’t afraid of colour and likes to accessorise with print. She’s like the ‘hip niece’ but the two brands’ personalities can often be two sides of the same person, depending on the mood. With I AM, we’re appealing to the weekend personality of our Andrea Moore customers with a playful collection designed to work together and make dressing easy.
How did your partnership with Swarovski come about? Who approached who first?
Swarovski approached us and it’s hugely exciting to be working with such a global brand. This partnership gives us the opportunity to create exceptional, special products for our New Zealand customers but more broadly as a business, it allows us to become part of the global Swarovski network – bringing the products we create together to customers all over the world.
What was it like to design a product range that featured Swarovski crystals?
I love the glint of Swarovski… Swarovski brings out the hidden princess in us all. It is a huge honour to be working with them. For our spring/summer 2016 collection, we have used Swarovski crystals to embellish sweatshirts and duster coats. We also created a limited edition range of Swarovski-encrusted denim and T-shirts that will be on sale in selected Andrea Moore stores.
Are there any exciting plans on the horizon now you’ve raised equity on the Snowball Effect? Is Andrea Moore looking to expand globally?
We’re genuinely excited about the growth opportunities available to Andrea Moore. The Snowball Effect platform appealed to us as a very democratic way of reaching a broad range of investors. It allows us to connect with the growing market of people out there who are looking for high growth private enterprise opportunities outside the more traditional avenues, such as investing in the stock market. Many of those people are our customers – so we also saw it as a way to bring our customers even closer as we progress on our journey as a business. We are definitely looking at global expansion but first we are consolidating our New Zealand platform - then we will be full steam ahead.
This story originally appeared in NZ Retail magazine issue 747 December 2016 / January 2017