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Hokianga enterprise sets a global trend


24.01.08 MEDIA RELEASE (For immediate release)

Hokianga enterprise sets a global trend

Renowned Financial Times fashion journalist Marion Hume has labelled New Zealand’s Lise Strathdee and her Hokianga store, Outpost Hokianga, as a leading light in an emerging global fashion and lifestyle trend.

Appearing in the style & shopping section of Saturday’s London Financial Times newspaper, the feature “Off the beaten rack” examines the trend towards ventures which are located or take their inspiration from remote locations. Strathdee was overwhelmed to see her Hokianga venture dominating both the article and the imagery.

“The last 20 years have been about bringing me to this place and time,” says Strathdee, who has been involved with the fashion industry in Italy, Asia, New York, Paris and London over the last two decades.

Although Strathdee was born in London, she was brought up in New Zealand and Italy. Despite her global experience she has long been convinced that “fashion and retail here are well ahead of the world.”

“And now, we’re challenging the perception that nothing happens ‘in the middle of nowhere.’ To have this recognized in an international market is tremendous.”

Strathdee’s Rawene store, Outpost Hokianga, features an eclectic mix of carefully selected clothing, foods, beauty products, art, books and home wares. She views the internet as a crucial component of the success of the business and the website is set up with full ecommerce.

“The internet has made the city/rural divide pretty irrelevant,” says Strathdee, who believes her products are as congruent to New Zealanders abroad as they are to local Hokianga residents.

Strathdee’s portfolio includes time with Armani, Fiorucci and Romeo Gigli. Her specialist area is trend-forecasting and Massey University has been quick to take advantage of her expertise, recruiting Strathdee to deliver NZ's first fashion and trend forecasting course.

“Trend forecasting is a difficult discipline,” says Strathdee. “You’re often very alone when you start something. It can feel like you’re lost in the bush. But the recognition in the FT article confirms that content and visually-wise, I’m drawing the map.”

Strathdee’s first complete collection will be launched later this year and is inspired by the glamour of a natural lifestyle.

“I come from an urban language, although the clothes here have to work with a gumboot,” she says, calling this the ‘get real’ philosophy.


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