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Hailwood gets second shot in UK with Karen Walker

29 June 2005

Adrian Hailwood gets second shot in UK with Karen Walker

Leading New Zealand fashion designer Karen Walker is so keen to help Adrian Hailwood go global she's taking him to London Fashion Week with her again in September.

The duo's flights to London come courtesy of the inaugural Air New Zealand Export Growth Award which Walker won at Air New Zealand Fashion Week last year with a proposal that involved taking an up and coming designer with her to learn the ropes.

"In February when I was showing at London Fashion Week I tried to ensure Adrian got involved as much as possible in the behind-the-scenes action so he could learn from it. By coming again in September he can build on that experience for the benefit of his own shows in the future," she says.

"In this business you can't just do it once and expect to keep the momentum up, so this will help give him some continuity in the market and ensure he can follow-up with some of the contacts he made in order to secure some export orders in the United Kingdom.

"Plus Adrian's a really great guy and our work is complimentary. He's talented and he's keen and that's worth supporting."

Auckland-based Adrian says he's "stoked" to have been given another ticket to London on Air New Zealand so he can work with Karen on her seventh show there.

"Karen really wants me to be able to capitalise on the experience and contacts I got out of the February trip which is great. Hopefully this time round I can show a small range to a few people and enroute to London I'm going to stop in LA for a few days to visit a couple of stores who are keen to stock me," he says.

Since the February trip to London Fashion Week, which was "hugely successful both in terms of press and sales", Karen's been mentoring Adrian.

"She's been such a great help, educating me about so many things, providing guidance on some contracts and even with getting some appointments in New York."

Meanwhile, Auckland knitwear company Insidious Fix, who won a $16,000 travel prize from Air New Zealand last year, has broken into the United Kingdom - thanks to a programme about Air New Zealand Fashion Week shown on the airline's long-haul flights.

Simon Jackson from D.H. Agencies in London saw Insidious Fix on the in-flight programme when he was flying home from a holiday in New Zealand. He subsequently contacted the company, reviewed samples of their range and put in his first order.

Simon says he's had a "good reaction to the collection" despite receiving it quite late in the selling season and has approached a range of boutiques in London, Somerset, Bristol, Bath and Taunton. He says these stores are building blocks for his distribution plan, which next season will see him targeting department and chain stores such as House of Fraser, Jon Lewis and Selfridges.

Insidious Fix has already used its Air New Zealand Export Development Award to travel to Australia to do market research, meet a new agent and to support the launch of their new label Esoteric.

They are set to use the remainder of their Air New Zealand travel prize later this year to fly to London to explore export opportunities in the UK with D.H. Agencies.


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