Heart of the City Auckland presents the 2018 Four Days of Fashion. For its second year, Ingrid Starnes is gearing up for its O'Connell street runway. We spoke to managing director Simon Pound about the brand's involvement for 2018.
Tell us about your involvement with Four Days of Fashion, are you prepared?
We’re really excited. We got involved with the event last year and it was such a cool thing to do, and O’Connell street is such a beautiful venue. All of the local businesses there are so supportive, and it does get people using the streets in a cool way.
Heart of the City made it really easy because they dealt with all the hard stuff like getting a permit to close the street. Because we did it last year we're recreating that production, we’re just rolling out the same plan. Being involved with the same people helped moved things along too, like Ryder and MAC, so we’re lucky to have an already great team to just roll out stuff.
What was the concept behind the idea?
The original concept for the four days of fashion was just what is something different you could do in your stores? And then we went to them with the idea of doing a fashion show, a bit outside of the brief, but they were cool with it.
Last year we had a few hundred people come across the show, and we were able to have a big party afterward. But there was great advertising around it, like little video clips on social media and a lot of promotion around the event. All of that stuff helps to show people that there are real life and real activity going on in the city. Which is a place that so many people go to, to work and do other things, so it really reminds people it’s also a vital part of the shopping district.
Why this idea to bring fashion back to the streets?
We’ve got this beautiful little store on Vulcan Lane, and the lane itself is so cool, it is really such a great little spot. But a lot of the older retailers who presided in that area had kind of moved on, so we were happy to be able to tell a story that shows fashion can really still be found in those streets, and especially New Zealand fashion is still to be found there.
Try to tell our story by actually having a show down the middle of the street seemed like a really fun way to do it. And because the local businesses are so keen to do something like that, it made it so easy. Everything we kind of hoped for last year turned out well, it felt very international due to the lighting and the cobbled streets, and it came together really nicely.
There can be a lot of time and money that goes into preparing an event such as this, do you find the end result is worth it?
The store was new last year, so getting involved around that time was really beneficial to us. We’d only been in the city for a few months, so getting involved was a really great way to introduce ourselves to all of the people that are already working within the city area.
We have really established operations around now, in Ponsonby and Newmarket, but this really helps us to get in front of all the local professionals.
The whole reason you start something like a fashion design label is to be able to tell the stories that you want to tell, and by choosing the aspects that go into that, it’s the absolute most exciting bit of it. The pictures and the parties can be high points of the whole thing.
How do you find the Four Days of Fashion is different to Fashion Week?
We have been involved in Fashion week in the past, and this is quite different because this isn’t a trade show. We’re just doing it to show our latest season in a way that helps to spill out the story through kind of music and model and styling. It helps that after we are then able to invite our customers, friends, and people that help the label along, so it’s kind of a big party. Whereas Fashion Week is more of a trade fair.
Fashion week is really cool to do as well but they definitely get different results.