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Hoodies, Hemlines and Heels - the Catwalk is Open!

19 September 2006
For immediate release

Hoodies, Hemlines and Heels - the Catwalk is Open for Business!

Highlights of the diversity of Air New Zealand Fashion Week 18-23 September 2006

Streetwear and menswear look set to shine at Air New Zealand Fashion Week, as trading and parading gets underway in Auckland at the sixth annual winter collections.

After the official opening last night, Monday 18 September, the work of the week begins today with the first show at 11am at the official Fashion Week venue, Auckland’s Viaduct Marine Harbour Village.

There are more individual shows than ever before, as designers seek to stand out from each other and grab the attention of around 600 local and international delegates.

The schedule is offering buyers and media more variety than ever before with ten shows featuring menswear, four highlighting the new fashion phenomenon known as streetwear, three designers renowned for their red carpet glamour and a number of designers showing more than one label, including Trelise Cooper who will showcase lingerie as well as her established labels.

The newcomers are among the most sought after tickets. As well as five Contemporary Salon shows featuring boutique labels like Deborah Sweeney, Jimmy D and Juliette Hogan, there is huge interest in the Verge Breakthrough Designer category. Mentored by industry stalwart, Ian Webster, designers in these two group shows feature up and coming talent in streetwear, sportswear, men’s and women’s clothing and lingerie.

There’s plenty of talk about the return to the catwalk of Dunedin’s darling Tanya Carlson and ex-pat Peter Loughlin, who is signaling his return to New Zealand with the label Arabesque, after establishing a thriving couture business in Dubai.

There’s also plenty of buzz around the debut show of Huffer. The Tokoroa born label is seen by many as a pioneer of New Zealand’s “streetwear” style. Their appearance on the schedule this year is another sign of how serious the “hoodie” and “sportswear adapted for streetwear” look is taken offshore.

Also looking for a fair slice of business are the accessory brands and new labels taking part in the Exhibition. An important insight into the wider realms of the New Zealand fashion industry, there are stands this year featuring a cross section of wares including maternity, jewellery, fine merino wool undergarments, jeans, shoes, and even footcare, courtesy of a local podiatrist who is set to tend to the tootsies of tired fashionistas!

With more than 48 labels vying for attention and all important sales, some of the biggest competition is set to come from the venue itself which has undergone a $1.5 million fit out for the week long frock-fest.

Once again, interior designer Shelley McRae of Telco has coaxed and convinced artists, furniture suppliers, fabric wholesalers, lighting retailers, importers and even a Maori carver to come to the party and create a stunning backdrop for New Zealand’s most exciting fashion.

The Fashion Week venue has been fitted out with chandeliers, sculpture, aerosol art from the acclaimed Disruptiv studio, stunning bars decorated with exquisite glass tiles from Bisazza of Italy, as well as amazing lighting features from ECC that breathe like moving clouds across the Fashion Plate restaurant.

Lining the front row will be a number of new and influential media commentators from around the world and buyers from key targeted stores in Asia, the USA and Australia, as well as from around New Zealand.

Managing Director Pieter Stewart says the content of this year’s delegate list reflects a greater understanding of who wants to buy our clothes and what sells where.

“Over the last six years we’ve learnt what to invest in, in terms of who to bring to the event. We know Asia and the United States are the places our designers want to be and this targeted approach has worked well for us in terms of our ability to focus on stores and locations where New Zealand fashion has a connection and the buyers are intrigued.”


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