New Zealand has a strong history of raising major, earth-shattering fashion talent. Not just fashion designers known for creating threads you want to wear over and over—New Zealand designers have a reputation for changing the game too.
Lonely, for example, with their inclusive, buy-for-me lingerie, was a first of its kind, shifting attitudes in an otherwise stuffy style category known for boxing women in. Karen Walker’s quirky, cool, nonchalant sunnies sent shockwaves across the globe, and continue to be at the top of every cool girl’s summer hit list (the Shipwreck style has been a key accessory for this past “Hot Girl Summer” and are pretty much sold out everywhere).
And the NZ designers coming up in the fashion world right now are equally as epic. In honour of New Zealand Fashion Week this week, here are six of the best under the radar fashion designers you need to get to know.
Sorbet shades are going to be massive this summer. New Zealand's Maggie Marilyn is leading the charge here with a colour palette of creamy apricot, punchy strawberry, muted cherry and (hue of the moment) pistachio green. The label kicked off in 2016, and was picked up by designer fashion juggernaut Net-A-Porter immediately. Created by Maggie Hewitt, the label has an inspiring environmental bent too, championing transparency and all of the makers along the supply chain (read more on the label's sustainability ethos here). It's been worn by the likes of Kendal Jenner, Kate Hudson and the Duchess of Sussex—just casually.
We love: this belted silk-satin maxi dress in dreamy pistachio.
Loved by the fashion set, Georgia Alice is the cool-girl label you absolutely need on your radar. Designer Georgia Alice Currie hails from Christchurch and is into modern tailoring, progressive textures and bold core pieces. The label is a solid go-to for an edgy blazer, voluminous man shirt or a statement top for your big night out.
We love: this incredible rouched metallic top is your the perfect New Years outfit.
Like most cool new fashion labels, Penny Sage popped up in our Insta feed, we hit follow and have been dreaming of the label's laid back denim in gentle sorbet colours ever since (yes, palette of the moment coming through here too). Designed by Kate Megaw, Penny Sage is strictly sustainable too—everything is produced locally and ethically.
We love: these green tartan wide leg pants.
Launched in 2017, Harris Tapper is another NZ label adored by in-the-know fashion fiends the world over. Designers Sarah Harris and Lauren Tapper are very (like, very) good at tailored shirts. Their "Kate" shirt—an oversized button-up shirt with dropped shoulders and dramatic cuffs—has become an icon and a wardrobe staple.
We love: the Kate shirt in soft peach coloured raw silk. It's a dream.
Nope Sisters is a big-time favourite of ours. Their slogan tees are all about inspiring real change across Aotearoa and throughout the world—with cute designs dreamt up to create awareness for certain charities and social causes. Every t-shirt shares profits with charity by way of donation, cotton is 100% organic and tees are made locally and made to order on the Nope Sisters' zero waste model.
Hey bbz ! Guess who’s nominated again for the @missfqnz awards ! (Social change section ) ��If you guys wanna vote for these shitz then u can head over to the website and click the pic �� Love you guys thanks for the nomination LOVE Nope Sisters ⚡️⚡️ �� @bobbycorica for @converse_anz and @missfqnz Styled with @jimmyd_was_here from @theservicedepot #missfq #missfqnz #missfqrevloninfluenceawards #motherearth #nope #socialchange #fashionforacause
Paris Georgia single-handedly brought back the silky 90s slip dress when they dropped into the scene back in 2017. Co-designers Paris Mitchell Temple and Georgia Cherrie’s New Zealand Fashion Week show this week has only further cemented the label as one to watch. Big floppy hats, cool textures, voluminous sleeves and a very sweet butter yellow silk all featured.
We love: the Marnie top in court green or royal blue.
Image credit: Nope Sisters.