By Cheryl Polwart & Karen Matich
For 33 years, we have dressed generations of New Zealand women. Daughters are now mother's, mother's grandmothers and grandmother's great. In that time, fashion has evolved to meet the changing needs and preferences of women. Cyclic trends have returned, but always with that subtle modification that outdates the aged original, ensuring you buy new. That faded denim bomber, for example, lacks the spandex and softness of the new version and the musty leather jacket sporting Grace Jones shoulder pads, remains an 80's statement.
So, what about labels in our 33 years?? Rumour has it that, along with Lisa Law, Louche, Didier, Calico, Bazaar, True Religion, Lifespace and numerous others, Newport, a label we have stocked forever, have decided to wind up. A New Zealand icon that's been around for 60 years – gone. If they're not closing down, they're restructuring or changing their designers. Retail across the planet is changing. Look at Verge three years on from changing designers – you never hear about it. Even Joseph Ribkoff, our favourite label, has altered, since selling 95 per cent of its company last year. Exclusivity has been usurped by revenue, and soon it will be found on every street corner.
So, what about the brick and mortar store after 33 years?? With the upsurge of online shopping, the buying power of chain stores and off-shore manufacturing, the privately- owned retail boutique is becoming seriously scarce. Identity, Kimberley's, Andrea More all gone. BUT we have survived!!! And we are here to stay. How refreshing is it to walk into an independent retail store and see garments that haven't featured in the last three shopping malls.
For the robust, independently-owned operator, spring stock is just starting to roll in. Glorious, fresh new looks to brighten up those dull winter days, by designers who value originality and style. Looks that haven't been mass-produced in chain stores. We are looking forward to sharing the fabulous collections we have selected for you this spring/summer. After 33 years it's still exciting!!! Join us.