Fashion Plate: Rai Banbury

By Zoe Walker

Moet Hennessy brand manager Rai Banbury knows a thing or two about luxury.

Moet Hennessy brand manager Rai Banbury at Clooney restaurant. Photo / Babiche Martens
Moet Hennessy brand manager Rai Banbury at Clooney restaurant. Photo / Babiche Martens

Rai Banbury is the brand manager at Moet Hennessy, a role that comes with its own special luxuries - champagne being one of them.

Having worked previously with artist Martin Poppelwell on establishing The People's Wine range, Banbury began at Moet Hennessy in March. She says she is fortunate enough to be surrounded by luxury each day - "Although luxury is not always the most obvious, extravagant items to me; it's sometimes as simple as a beautiful meal out with my girlfriends." She takes us through her approach to style.

Who are your favourite designers?
I love Kathryn Wilson, she has a great story and has branched out of New Zealand. I love her approach to style, her shoes are instantly recognisable, and they are comfortable without compromising a strong look.

How do you describe your sense of style?
I definitely have a feminine approach, my wardrobe is full of pretty dresses and a few structured jackets for work.

What was the last item of clothing or accessory you bought?
Michael Kors' Baguette-Bezel watch. I love his new range of watches, the hard part was choosing which one.

What is the most luxurious thing you have ever bought?
My Louis Vuitton Neverfull handbag.

What item of clothing or accessory do you want to buy next?
Some new Sass & Bide jeans.

What's your biggest indulgence?
Well, it's not that it's an expensive indulgence. But I treat myself to a manicure every fortnight. I am loving Shellac at the moment.

What endures throughout the seasons?
Ballet flats have endured a fair few seasons, and I've definitely embraced this accessory - I pair them up with jeans and dresses mostly.

Your favourite shop, locally?
I love The Department Store, but I know that might be cheating a little. I'm pretty busy, so it is my one-stop shop.

What one item from your wardrobe do you put on and immediately feel great in?
One of my Moochi boyfriend dresses. I have it in a few colours and love how easy it is to wear.

Who are the best-dressed man and best-dressed woman in Auckland?
Dan Gosling from Stolen Girlfriends Club as he always makes black look stylish, whether it's a jacket, T-shirt or hat. And Jade Hurst has a real chic, individual style that I adore, plus the biggest collection of accessories I have ever seen.

If money were no option, what would you add to your wardrobe?
A watch from the new Dior VII range.

Most stylish city?
Paris of course! It's brimming with style - stylish people, incredible architecture, art, amazing food and wine.

Who is your ultimate fashion plate?
Scarlett Johansson because she is glamorous, talented, exudes confidence and has great signature style. I also admire that she was the first Hollywood celebrity face of champagne when she became the Moet & Chandon muse in 2009.

Describe the best outfit you've ever worn.
My bridesmaid outfit for my friend Jodi's wedding at Cheltenham Beach. It was a gorgeous black, strapless, pleated cocktail dress from Review in Australia matched perfectly with sparkly heels and a Tiffany & Co. teardrop silver necklace Jodi gave us on the day.

Your favourite stylish place?
Clooney restaurant - beautiful intimate tables, stunning food created by Des Harris, Dom Perignon by the flute, and great service from Tony Stewart.

- NZ Herald

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