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New Zealand Fashion Designers Off to Paris

New Zealand Fashion Designers Off to Paris

Four New Zealand fashion labels - WORLD, Nom*D, Sabatini and NG - will be showcased at the prestigious Tranoi Trade show during Paris Fashion Week, supported by New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE).

Paris is the last stop on the international fashion show circuit each year after New York, London and Milan, says NZTE Creative Industries Sector Director Dame Cheryll Sotheran.

“No other city rivals Paris in terms of the number, quality and international variety of buyers, media, sales agents and buying offices who visit to attend fashion shows and place orders at the trade fairs and showrooms.

“This is a key reason why NZTE is supporting this initiative – as a means of making high-value international connections and creating an awareness of New Zealand fashion to key buyers and media from around the world.” Dame Cheryll says New Zealand's fashion designers are proving their success as exporters and entrepreneurs, generating over $317 million in export earnings (December 2004) and whose creative efforts are driving home the message that New Zealand is a nation of new ideas and new thinking. “New Zealand is a small nation in a tough global marketplace. You have to be smart to compete and you need products that differentiate themselves effectively. New Zealand’s fashion industry is doing just that by constantly innovating, and delivering fresh and unique products to the world’s consumers,” says Dame Cheryll. WORLD will show their winter collection Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, which got a “brilliant” reaction at the New Zealand and Australian Fashion Weeks last year, designer Denise L’Estrange-Corbet says.

“It’s a very strong collection. We’ve already broken into the European market and this will be a great confirmation that we’re still doing what we do very well.”

Sabatini Managing Director Tony Milich says New Zealand fashion’s appearance at Tranoi would be “historic”. “This is a first. We’ve been to LA and New York and London but everybody thinks of Paris as being the centre of fashion in the world. We’re really excited to be among the first (New Zealanders) to be invited to this event,” says Mr Milich.

Nom*D designer Margi Robertson says that because Tranoi was a showcase for buyers worldwide, there would be a lot of foot traffic through the displays.

“This is a great opportunity to have maximum exposure to those discerning buyers. They can see the garments displayed as they would in their own stores. From that perspective, it’s very real.”

Sharon Ng, whose collection features textile designs from well-known New Zealand artists, says it was great to get such an introduction into the Northern Hemisphere market. “To participate at Tranoi and to be part of Paris Fashion week is a doorway to Europe.”

Back home, Air New Zealand Fashion Week is scheduled for October 17-21 this year. Managing Director Pieter Stewart said this year’s show would combine designer catwalk shows with the biggest yet exhibition of off-catwalk and accessory ranges, plus showrooms for designers and buyers.

Each fashion week generates millions of dollars for the local economy. Last year’s show featured 47 labels with 2500 garments appearing in 43 catwalk shows. Domestic and international media interest was phenomenal, said Ms Stewart. And they’re expecting even bigger things this year.

“Local retail sales of New Zealand designer clothing have blossomed in recent years,” she says. “Some of the boom is directly attributable to their participation in Air New Zealand Fashion Week and the rising profiles of local designers.”

“We hope that showcasing New Zealand fashion in Paris will generate even more interest in Air New Zealand Fashion Week and build on the fantastic work done by Pieter Stewart and her team,” says Dame Cheryll.

NZ MEDIA IN PARIS: Tranoï Avenue Montaigne 7, Rond-Point des Champs-Elysées 75008 Paris Each venue is open to buyers and media from 10am to 7pm.

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