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Love Joins The 2006 Verge Breakthrough Designers


Monday 14 August 2006

Charmaine Love Joins The 2006 Verge Breakthrough Designers

Verge mentors eight designers for their Air New Zealand Fashion Week debut in 2006.

Charmaine Love, the New Zealand fashion label already on the hips of some of Hollywood's biggest stars and behind one of our golfing greats has just been added to the 2006 Verge Breakthrough Designers line up.

Charmaine's style most famously made a red carpet statement for Fergie of the Black Eyed Peas at the 2005 ARIA music awards and her designs are also behind Michael Campbell's golfwear Kia Kaha.

The addition of Charmaine Love, a label which fuses traditional Maori designs with urban street wear, now brings the total number of Verge Breakthrough Designers to eight. These eight labels, from all across New Zealand, are honoured to make their Air New Zealand Fashion Week (ANZFW) debut in 2006 under the mentoring wing of Verge.

The Verge Breakthrough Designer programme is run by Verge Managing Directors, Ian Webster and Neil Brabant who are impressed by the calibre of designers in the fourth year of their programme. "It never ceases to amaze me the depth of talent in this country" says Webster.

The Verge Breakthrough Designer programme is designed to support New Zealand's up and coming fashion talents, in a way that Webster would have appreciated when he began his fashion career. "The things we are teaching them through the Verge Breakthrough Designer programme are all the things you learn from experience.

I wish someone could have helped me with these when I started" he says. The designers selected for the Verge Breakthrough Designer programme have the expertise of Verge available to them to assist in positioning their label to expand their current business and take international export orders confidently - the crux of Air New Zealand Fashion Week.

The eight labels who have been selected for the 2006 Verge Breakthrough Designer programme are; Charmaine Love, Charmaine Reveley, Docherty Wilkins, Firefly, Keucke, Ooby Ryn, Serdoun Couture, and Toushe.

The eight labels will grace the Auckland catwalks of ANZFW in two groups of four, presenting their Winter 2007 ranges during the week of 19th - 22nd September 2006.

At this year's Verge Breakthrough Designers Boot Camp, the designers learnt the finer details of the fashion business including exporting, planning a catwalk show, marketing, budgeting, styling and even some media training!

Over recent years, the Verge Breakthrough Designer shows have served as a launching pad for some of New Zealand's most exciting emerging labels including Cybele, Helen Talbot, Pearl, James & August, Lonely Hearts Club, Widdess and Michael Pattison.

The 2006 Verge Breakthrough Designer shows promise to be an eclectic fashion mix with each designer drawing their inspirations from such different aspects of life. From the Maori inspired designs of Charmaine Love, the back to basics attitude of Charmaine Reveley, the international experience of Docherty Wilkins, the Queenstown influences of Firefly, the funkiness of Keucke, the graphic design focus of Ooby Ryn, the Russian heritage of Serdoun Couture, to the delicate detailing of Toushe - the Verge Breakthrough Designer shows are a glimpse of New Zealand's fashion future!


Background on the 2006 Verge Breakthrough Designers

Charmaine Reveley (Dunedin)
A love of plants and nature combined with an addiction for junk stores and antique auctions infuses Charmaine Reveley's designs with an old world charm.

From a Canterbury farm named "Fighting Hill" in the small area of Windwhistle, Charmaine's love of fabric and clothes was nurtured by her mother's dressmaking business.

Winning a coveted scholarship to study fashion at Otago Polytechnic in Dunedin, Charmaine graduated as top student and launched her own label in 2003. She has spent two years working from the Dunedin Fashion Incubator (DFI) as a full time resident.

Charmaine's signature style of integrity and intelligence is shown with delicate detailing, beautiful finishing and an old world beauty.

The Charmaine Reveley label has become a celebration of this country's talent, culture and natural beauty. The pieces have a true sense of New Zealand origin and collections are frequently centred on New Zealand themes.

With eight successful collections under her belt, Charmaine relocated her expanding business to new premises in 2005, creating a workroom and outlet store.
It is her aim to use her selection for ANZFW to secure appointments with Australian buyers and at least two Australian accounts.

Docherty Wilkins (Auckland)

www.dochertywilkins.com

Docherty Wilkins draws on over 15 years of international and local industry experience for brands from Yohji Yamamoto, to Topshop and Swanndri.

Heather Docherty has recently returned from five years in the United Kingdom where she specialised in women's tailoring and pattern cutting. Formerly the design room assistant of Ashley Fogel, Heather's strengths lie in making her designs come to life, and refining them to perfection from the sample stage to the finished product.

Born and raised in Auckland, Heather moved to Wellington at the age of 18 to pursue her interest in fashion. She graduated from the Massey University Bachelor of Design (Fashion) programme in 2000, which at that time had only recently been established.

Heather enjoys all facets of fashion design, and is grateful for her UK experiences which allowed her to focus and fine tune her skills in tailoring and pattern cutting on various CAD systems, for both designer labels and High Street suppliers.
Heather, who will make her debut with the support of her husband Rory, is excited about bringing the premier Docherty Wilkins collection to the Air New Zealand Fashion Week runway in 2006.

Firefly (Queenstown)

Queenstown designer Lisa Payne's first foray into fashion was at the tender age of 11. Using an old Singer sewing machine that was passed down from her grandmother, Lisa began production of leather ties and bow ties which she then sold through her local mall.

As a youngster Lisa honed her skills through weekends spent with her grandmother who worked as a tailoress and bridal gown maker. Her grandmother's house became a wonderland of beautiful fabrics and trims for Lisa, which as she grew older became the inspiration for her future fashion creations.

From a young age Lisa would lie down on a piece of fabric and cut around her own body to make patterns. Her skills continued to develop throughout high school as she studied dressmaking and took after school sewing classes. Towards the end of her schooling it was confirmed that fashion design was to be Lisa's career and she immersed herself further in art and design subjects and began to make clothes for her friends.

Her hard work finally paid off and at the end of her schooling she won her first scholarship to the Design and Arts College of New Zealand. Lisa then carried out an apprenticeship under the watchful eye of Christchurch designer, Barbara Lee, for whom she has a huge amount of respect.

After ten successful years in the fashion industry, Lisa is excited that her Firefly label, created in 2005, will be showing both men's and women's ranges as one of the Verge Breakthrough Designers for 2006. Lisa is extremely proud to finally be realising a life long dream to own and design a successful range.

Keucke (Dunedin)

Keucke: a high quality, glamourous street-wear label that brings tailoring, drape and luxury to the everyday

Veronica Keucke studied film before fashion and even now is looking for ways to integrate film into the marketing of her label.

Her profile has grown immensely in recent months since making her debut as part of the Start Up programme at Mercedes Australian Fashion Week.
She has lived in Dunedin for the past eighteen months after completing her Fashion studies at Massey University in Wellington and is completely enamoured with the city.

Keucke collections always begin with a strong narrative base, working with themes of women and nature. Using mainly natural fibres the garments are functional, vibrant and empowering to the wearer. An emphasis on curved design lines creates harmony with the figure and flatters the female form.

All Keucke pieces are designed to be flexible enough to be worn with your favourite pair of jeans. A Keucke customer is smart, savvy and has a sense of humour. She has long abandoned her princess fantasies in favour of something more gritty. Her roots date back to Generation X, the critics of society. She is a little bit country, a little bit rock and roll.
Ooby Ryn (Cambridge)

www.oobyryn.com

For a woman with individual style, and no boundaries to her imagination!
Robyn Brooks is a photographer with a passion for design, creating strong illustrative pieces that are often combined with sumptuous fabric.

With a Bachelor of Media Arts from the Waikato Institute of Technology, Robyn does all her own design, styling and photo shoots.

Robyn readily admits much of her inspiration comes from her mother, Heather, who has an established label in the Waikato town of Cambridge.
Heather often takes a hand in the production of the Ooby Ryn label, drawing upon her own experience.

A key feature of Ooby Ryn's collection is the use of exclusive fabrics. The collection has a strong sense of romanticism and personality. Designs are feminine, unique and exceptionally wearable.

As a new designer taking part in ANZFW 2006, Ooby Ryn is seeking growth and exposure through the Verge Breakthrough Designer programme. As well as growing profile and extending the list of stockists, Ooby Ryn is keen to create a database of customers through the collections.

September is set to be a busy month for Ooby Ryn as the label makes its ANZFW debut, and styles Miss Waikato for the Miss New Zealand pageant on the side!
As for that name? Ooby Ryn was created by scrambling the letters of Robyn.
Serdoun Couture (Auckland)

From Russia with love, style, elegance and feminity. Model turned fashion designer, Alissa Serdoun seeks to accentuate a woman's femininity. Her aim is to celebrate women and make her clients feel comfortable in what they are wearing-regardless of age or body type.

She sees her designs as timeless but influenced by the current themes of each season.

Russian born Alissa has fashion in her blood. Her father completed a fashion degree and although he never went on to make a career out of the disciplines he learnt, he used his skills throughout his working life making garments for himself and Alissa's mother. His father, Alissa's grandfather had been a shoe designer.

The Serdoun boutique is in Auckland's tourist mecca Parnell. This was a deliberate ploy on the part of Alissa who wanted to attract an international clientele.

Response to her designs has been positive with many customers from America, Australia and South Africa.

Toushe (Auckland) www.toushe.com

As the sole lingerie specialist in the 2006 Verge Breakthrough Designer line up, Olivia Corbett is set to turn heads. The 23 year old Aucklander has been creating her unique collection of theatrical yet wearable fashion undergarments ever since she spotted a gap in the New Zealand fashion market for such clothing. Inspired by catwalk and magazine looks to swimwear and fabrics, Olivia's pieces encompass a variety of themes and eras, all designed with the young fashion-conscious female in mind.

Olivia's first foray into fashion began after she completed two fashion certificates and a fashion business planning course at Auckland University of Technology (AUT) among other marketing and accounting papers. Olivia was quick to find work assisting with fashion styling and fashion show production.

Olivia loves the sense of freedom that owning her own label brings. Ultimately she sees the brand gaining cult status and being sold in leading department stores and lingerie boutiques worldwide. From the catwalk to magazine spreads to beautiful fabrics, Olivia draws inspiration from all facets of the fashion industry to conceptualise and create beautiful, innovative and unique undergarments.

As her Air New Zealand Fashion Week debut draws closer, Olivia is excited to see what the public think of her range. She believes her unique vision, original sense of style and persevering work ethic will help her succeed in what she describes as the 'cut throat' world of fashion.

Charmaine Love (Wellington)

Charmaine Love brings a unique fusion of traditional Maori designs combined with urban street wear to the ANZFW runway.

Charmaine Love burst on to the New Zealand fashion scene in 2004 when she won the Westfield Style Pasifika Supreme Award. The self- taught designer impressed the judges and public alike with her unique style.

In 2005 Charmaine returned to the Westfield Style Pasifika stage with the support of kiwi celebrities including ex-All Black Norm Hewitt, TV star Shane Cortese and TV's Fear Factor champion turned model Mark Hewlett, and subsequently won the Westfield Style Pasifika Business scholarship.

Charmaine's biggest claim to fame is as the designer behind kiwi golfer Michael Campbell's golf wear range, which received a huge amount of international attention when he won the 2005 US Open. Online orders for the polo Campbell sported for his win featuring a hammerhead shark, a symbol of strength and determination shot up an astounding 27,000%. Even Donald Trump wanted a piece of the action, putting in an order for six shirts of his own.

These days, Charmaine's fan base has grown to include Hollywood celebrities such as Robbie Williams, Fergie from the Black Eyed Peas, 50 Cent and Ben Harper.

ENDS

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