New Zealand Fashion Week 2019: First Designer Announcement

A return to its original venue and a coterie of emerging names will mark a fresh chapter in this year’s New Zealand Fashion Week

Maggie Hewitt will debut her first show for her label Maggie Marilyn. Photo / Rebecca Zephyr Thomas.

New Zealand Fashion Week is taking shape as the first round of confirmed designers have been announced.

Taking place August 26 to September 1 at its original home of the Auckland Town Hall and Aotea Square, the first designer reveal reflects the event’s focus on a growing trend for fashion weeks around the world for more thoughtful activities beyond the traditional runway show format, placing sustainability, inclusivity and business success at the forefront of this year’s agenda.

In addition, there will continue to be plenty of opportunity for the public to get involved, particularly with its popular Fashion Weekend events making a return to the schedule.

“We’re passionate about playing a leading role in addressing social issues and encouraging the fashion industry to improve its social impact,” says NZFW founder and managing director Dame Pieter Stewart.

“As always, New Zealand Fashion Week provides a unique environment that allows local designers to shine, both creatively and in business, building and supporting an innovative and forward-thinking fashion community.”

NZFW 2018: The Definitive Guide

Confirming to show this year is Kate Sylvester, who is always a highly anticipated show on the fashion week calendar, known for her clever showmanship and well-styled collections.

“We are looking forward to participating in NZFW this year and returning to where this iconic event all began at the new Aotea Square venue,” says Kate.

From her Stop Your Sobbing show in 2005 to her Donna Tartt inspired collection in 2014, there have been several highlights from the designer over the years, and along with partner Wayne Conway, the creative team will no doubt continue to bring their seasoned eye to this year’s fashion week schedule.

READ: Kate Sylvester On Fashion And Politics

Kate Sylvester last showed at NZFW 2017. Photo / Supplied.

Celebrating 40 years in business is no mean feat for any fashion brand, especially here in New Zealand, but for local stalwart Zambesi, showing this year is an opportunity to celebrate this major milestone.

“Zambesi celebrates 40 years of fashion design this year and we’re excited to be showing at New Zealand Fashion Week in 2019 to mark our anniversary,” says Zambesi co-founder Elisabeth Findlay. “Show details are under wraps, but we’ll be located somewhere in the heart of Auckland City.

“We are very much looking forward to presenting a show that reflects the significance of 40 years of Zambesi, made in New Zealand.”

Liz Findlay and Dayne Johnston from Zambesi. Photo / Babiche Martens.

Another designer confirming to show is Maggie Marilyn with designer Maggie Hewitt showcasing her commitment to New Zealand made fashion and presenting her collection in a show format, a bonus not only for the New Zealand market, but a chance for her growing portfolio of international stockists to see the collection showcased in its home country.

"This will be our debut show globally,” says Maggie. “It felt really important for us to do it here in New Zealand as this is home and we wouldn’t be where we are without the constant support of our incredible local makers and supporters.

“We believe in a fashion industry that is regenerative and inclusive. This has inspired our collection and will be clearly visible in our NZFW 2019 show. Expect to see beautiful clothing and walk away with new insight into how the clothing was made and the sustainable fabrications we’ve used."

THROWBACK: Zambesi's NZFW 2006 Show

Other confirmed designers include Stolen Girlfriends Club, Adrian Hailwood, Kathryn Wilson and some fresh names in the mix - Benjamin Alexander, Adhala Lenzo, Olli, Wicken, Havilah, and Starving Artists Fund; along with the return of the ever-popular Jockey show.

“We’re thrilled with the calibre of the designers, buyers, and brands already on board for New Zealand Fashion Week this year and there are many more to come,” says Dame Pieter, who has also confirmed the arrival of key international delegates, including fashion buyers from David Jones and Meyer in Australia, and fashion critic Patty Huntington.

Watch this space for more designer confirmations in the lead up to this years’ New Zealand Fashion Week.

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