From mountain peaks to NZ Fashion Week, designs inspired by Sir Ed will take the runway today in the anticipated launch of the Edmund Hillary clothing brand.

Setting out to conquer the catwalk are George Hillary, 26, and Alexander Hillary, 22, who have helped create the luxury men's activewear inspired by their famous mountaineering grandfather.

Garments will reference those worn on the 1953 expedition up Everest and the label follows in the footsteps of Sir Ed's philanthropic work.

A portion of sale proceeds will be donated to outdoor education programmes in New Zealand, the UK and schools in Nepal.


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Today we'll see the new spring-summer range of 25 pieces consisting of puffer jackets, anoraks, woollen army jackets, fine knits made from New Zealand Merino and sweaters made from undyed British wool.

The premium range (available to buy online this week) is aimed at outdoorsy blokes who don't mind spending big bucks - one of the jackets will cost around $1300 according to chief executive Mike Hall-Taylor but "will last a lifetime".

Hillary's grandsons told Viva the UK-based design team studied iconic mountaineering reels to come up with the heritage-looking range, which has a modern spin and uses high-quality fabrics.

"Each garment has names such as Summit ... and Base Camp, although are built for everyday wear rather than endurance sports," says George.

The brand's retail presence will be targeted at department stores and upscale boutiques and there are plans to open a store in Queenstown. A womenswear range is in the works for next season.

Other highlights today include the eleventh Fashion Week debut from Welllington-based label Twenty-seven Names, fresh talent in the New Generation Couture show, and collections from Rachel Mills, Ryan Turner, Adrian Hailwood and Lela Jacobs.