Anna Leask

Anna Leask is senior police reporter for the New Zealand Herald.

There goes the bride...Top bridal designer calls it quits

Sera Lilly, with daughter Amalia, has blamed cheap imports for her decision to close her bridal-wear business.
Sera Lilly, with daughter Amalia, has blamed cheap imports for her decision to close her bridal-wear business.

One of New Zealand's top bridal-wear designers is shutting up shop after 10 years, saying online shopping and cheap imports are to blame.

Sera Lilly announced last night that she had made a "hard, heartbreaking decision to close".

The fashion designer and mother-of-four said the decision came with "much regret".

"We have decided to close our retail store and our made-to-measure bridal business.

"We have always been proudly New Zealand made, but it has become increasingly more difficult to do this with the cheaper imported goods from China and other Asian countries.

"If we wanted to buy 'shell' garments from Asia at a fraction of what it costs us to produce here and simply have them sew our labels into the dress; or produce our garments in factories offshore we could compete more easily.

But that is not what we want."

Ms Lilly said online shopping had also had a huge effect on local retailers and producers.

"We have been lucky to have had great support over the years from both our customers and many people within the fashion industry. It's been a roller coaster of an experience."

Ms Lilly will have an online presence with a limited range of flower girl dresses from her Little Miss range and bow ties and pocket squares from her Little Man line.

- NZ Herald

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