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Rock and Pillar in Capital

Rock and Pillar in Capital

Central Otago stakes a new presence in downtown Wellington this week with the opening of a concept fashion store called Rock and Pillar.

Named after the Central Otago mountain range, the Dunedin brand uses images, place-names and colour schemes that it says are an iconic reflection of the Rock and Pillar Range, the most coastal of Otago’s schist-block mountains.

Company founders Trevor and Joh Wright launched their brand three years ago through a network of independent retailers, and opened their first concept store in Dunedin six months ago.

The Wellington expansion is the first move toward a fleet of company stores, to be followed by offshore release through retail networks in Australia and Asia.

“We see the Capital city as a test bed for the niche market we are developing for men’s and women’s lifestyle clothing that is sophisticated, high quality and European styled with a tailored finish and fine detailing,” says Trevor Wright.

The 32-year-old former geologist says the strategy behind the opening of a designer store on Featherston Street is to measure the appeal of Rock and Pillar’s urban fashion ideas with Wellington’s 30-plus professionals.

Originally Trevor and his fashion designer wife Joh, 34, started by making one-off vests and jackets out of Joh’s parents’ garage. The idea for a brand was born on a family trip to the Rock and Pillar Range. At first they pitched their garments at the farming and tourist markets, with strong emphasis on the use of cottons, canvas and oil-skin.

Now the fashion house draws more on “European sensibilities” but retains a kiwi feel or flavour through muted colours and natural textures. The designs in their latest range have more tailoring detail and “sharper inner city styles”.

Joh, a machinist who progressively studied toward a fashion diploma and then a textile and clothing degree, describes Rock and Pillar as “more fashionable than Timberland and like Burberry with the carrot taken out—we call it kiwi-fied urbanwear.”

With names like Naesby, Clyde, Carisbrook, Lawrence, Ranfurly, Wedderburn and Bendigo, the range includes jackets, vests, coats, trousers, tops, shirts and t-shirts. Ultimately the place-names may have to be recycled in keeping with the Dunedin company’s commitment to “never forget our roots”.

Rock and Pillar is also a supplier of corporate clothing to companies such as Huka Lodge, Speight’s Brewery, Nissan New Zealand and the Tasman Orient shipping line.

For the opening of its new store at 119-123 Featherston Street, Wellington, the company is giving away $10 gift vouchers and running a coupon draw for a $1000 wardrobe. Call 04-473 5900 or visit the store for more information.


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