Meet The Extraordinary Women Wearing Emilia Wickstead's Woolmark Collection

Celebrating the dynamism and strength of New Zealand women for British Vogue, Emilia returns home to capture the spirit of her latest capsule range with Woolmark



Former scholarship student and Head Girl of St Mary's College, Lupesina is the winner of the 2017 Prime Minister’s Pacific Youth Award and a 2017 Toloa Tertiary Scholarship winner.

She tutors Maori and Pasifika school leavers tranisitioning to university, and mentors Year 13 boys at low decile Kelston Boys’ High on completing successful scholarship applications, volunteers at Mt Eden Prison and works at Auckland City Mission’s St Vincent De Paul — all the while working to pay for herself, holding down a student internship at PricewaterhouseCoopers and studying a conjoint degree in Engineering and Commerce at The University of Auckland.

“I have been given a chance, some privilege,” she says. “And with privilege comes responsibility. I believe that if you have the opportunity and skills to do something to help others, you should.”

Photo / Derek Henderson

Hair & makeup throughout / Virginia Carde


Teresa is a member of the McAuley High School Samoan dance group, winners of the Samoan stage at Polyfest 2018, New Zealand’s largest school cultural event with 10,000 performers every year. (Emilia Wickstead was a past performer at the event). McAuley High School Girls won the title, with 69 other schools competing. “If you look beautiful you know it says a lot about your family," says Teresa. "Beauty is a natural thing, not just the way it looks but also how it moves.”

Photo / Derek Henderson


Hope is also a member of the McAuley High School Samoan dance group.

Photo / Derek Henderson


The first female Chief District Court Judge and the first woman to be appointed to the High Court in New Zealand in 1993, Dame Silvia presided over the 1988 inquiry into issues related to cervical cancer treatment at Auckland’s National Women’s Hospital, known as the Cartwright Inquiry, and served on the committee, helping draft the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).

From 2001-2006 she was the second woman to hold office as Governor-General of New Zealand. Recently, she was one of just two international judges appointed to the Trial Chamber of the Cambodia Tribunal.

“Being a judge can be very challenging. You're acutely aware of the impact on lives, including that of a perpetrator. But in court you should avoid showing the emotions that are going on for you inside.”

Photo / Derek Henderson


"I want to inspire women, for them to know you can have the confidence to take the time off and have your baby."

Four-time World Champion shot putter Valerie is a two-time Olympic gold medallist and one-time Olympic silver medallist; three-time Commonwealth Games Champion, four-time World Indoor Champion, two-time IAAF Continental Cup winner, first woman to win four consecutive individual titles at the IAAF Championships, 2014 IAAF World Athlete of the Year, 2012 and 2013 Track and Field News Athlete of the Year, New Zealand Sportswoman of the year for seven consecutive years and member of the Queen’s Order Of Merit.

Valerie paved the way for female professional athletes around the world when she won a silver medal at the Commonwealth Games, six months after giving birth to her daughter, Kimoana, via Caesarean section. "Sport means I can also have a voice for many women — especially New Zealand and Pacific Island women.”

Photo / Derek Henderson


Along with sister-in-law Vienna Nordstrom, Taaniko is co-founder of Soldiers Rd Portraits, attempting to reclaim the exploitative art form of portrait photography by using it to help prisoners reframe their identities.

“Cultural photography is a way to reconnect people. The more culturally connected a person is the more they should be able to make better decisions,” says Taaniko. “In New Zealand, Maori are significantly overrepresented in the prison population. Underlying themes behind this include a lack of understanding of the importance of identity and heritage.”

Soldiers Rd Portraits is about reconnecting Maori and Pasifika heritage, creating a paradigm shift in the way young men and the future of tomorrow see themselves and their genealogy in the past, present and most importantly future.

Photo / Derek Henderson


Along with sister-in-law Taaniko Nordstrom, Vienna is co-founder of Soldiers Rd Portraits, attempting to reclaim the exploitative art form of portrait photography by using it to help prisoners reframe their identities.

Their voluntary work to heal troubled New Zealand men in prisons is having the deepest impact. Visiting prison cells with hardened criminals, asking for no guards, styling them in the ways of traditional Maori portraiture and photographing them. When working with Waikeria Prison in the Waikato, they trialled a pilot and gifted their world-acclaimed photography to male prisoners. Styling them in beautiful creative reference to their ancestry, framing their final images for these men to wake to every morning in their cells, and giving them a photograph to send home to their families.

Photo / Derek Henderson


Eat My Lunch was launched after Lisa realised how many New Zealand children were going to school hungry and without food. Inspired by Toms shoes’ one-for-one social business model — supplying one pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair of Toms sold — for every upmarket lunch she delivers to consumers, she delivers one free school lunch to a child who would otherwise not have one. “Healthy food helps with learning, but it also lessens the stigma of being the kid who has no food,” she explains.

“One girl I met used to take an empty lunchbox every day and sit with it on her lap because it was less embarrassing than having nothing in the playground. Our lunches are in plain brown bags — no branding.

“I get to sit with the kids and talk to them. Every child has so much potential they deserve to be able to fulfill. The most beautiful part is how they are always just so incredibly happy to see us."

Photo / Derek Henderson


New Zealand Poet Laureate 2017-2019. Selina is of Samoan, Tuvaluan, English, Scottish and French ancestry and was the first person of Pacific descent to graduate with a PhD in English from the University of Auckland, where she now lectures in Maori and Pacific Literary Studies and Creative Writing. In New Zealand, each poet laureate receives a Tokotoko — a uniquely carved Maori walking stick made by Haumoana artist, Jacob Scott.

Photo / Derek Henderson

WATCH: The Storyteller Selina Tusitala Marsh


The first female President of New Zealand Federated Farmers in 118 years, Kate represents Oceania on the World Farmers Organisation Board, is a fifth Generation West Coast dairy farmer and advocate for reconnecting urban and rural New Zealanders. Katie is using her global voice to encourage us to feel reconnected to our food again. “A lot of passion and effort goes into producing great food. Today’s New Zealander shopping in a supermarket has forgotten where their meat or milk came from.”

In the spirit of this partnership with Woolmark and as a celebration of women everywhere, Emilia Wickstead will be donating a percentage of the collection to Smart Works, who support females struggling with unemployment. This collection is a wardrobe for working life, giving every woman confidence both in and out of the workplace.

Photo / Derek Henderson


Emeritus professor, fellow of the Auckland War Memorial Museum and recipent of the Pou Aronui Award from Royal Society of New Zealand for Services to Arts & Humanities, Ngahuia was the first Maori female to gain a doctorate in New Zealand in 1981. She went on to become the first female Maori professor and then first female Maori Emeritus.

An international speaker and expert in indigenous heritage, she has been at the forefront of change for marginalised groups. From protesting to lecturing, she speaks for the under-represented on the margins of society — early feminists, lesbian women and Maori and Pasifika people — drawing them to the centre of New Zealand’s cultural identity.

Photo / Derek Henderson


New Zealand Young Scientist of The Year for her breakthrough PhD research on Huntington’s disease, Jessie was also the recipient of New Zealand Neurological Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship to study at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School (US).

She has returned to New Zealand to help establish the research programme around the genetics underlying neuro developmental disorders at Auckland University.

She is also the founder of the Minds For Minds network for all those working on Autism spectrum disorder in New Zealand to meet, share ideas, resources and build effective collaborations. Growing up with her father who was a special needs teacher, Jessie was motivated to focus on health and her groundbreaking research has uncovered new ways to genetically screen and diagnose Autism spectrum disorder, which is one of the modern world’s most common developmental disorders in children.

Photo / Derek Henderson


Thirteen-year-old hip-hop dancer Maiya is captain of Parris Goebel’s Palace Dance Studio’s Bubblegum Crew who have come third place in the world for Street Dance National Championships. Attending Tai Wananga ki Ruakura character school in Hamilton, Maiya travels two hours a day, six days a week between cities to dance training in Auckland. Commencing dance at the age of 3, Maiya became an overnight internet sensation dancing next to Ciara in her Level Up video.

“With all this going on I want to remain humble and grounded. My goal is when I grow up to always remember who I am, my family, where I am from. I’m proud of my culture and my roots. No matter what happens next I want to always keep doing the little things that matter for my community."

Photo / Derek Henderson

READ: Goebel Sisters Band Together


Born and raised in Christchurch, the London-based jeweller describes her childhood as “free, wild, idyllic”.

“I am proud and humbled to be from such a beautiful country. It’s my home and everything I do is deeply rooted in that. Being a New Zealander sculpts my entire life, ethos, creative process, style and family. I am proud and humbled to be from such a beautiful country."

The Emilia Wickstead & The Woolmark Company collection is available at Emilia Wickstead, Sloane Street, London SW1, and Selfridges. All the women wear Jessica McCormack jewellery throughout.

Photo / Derek Henderson

READ: Jessica McCormack In London

Share this article:
New Zealand Herald

New Zealand Herald

Subscribe to E-Newsletter