Fashion Site Celebrates 4th Birthday
Now We Are Four - Acclaimed New Zealand
Fashion Site Celebrates 4th Birthday
Leading online fashion site http://www.fashionz.co.nz celebrates its 4th birthday this month, consolidating its presence as an integral part of the New Zealand fashion landscape.
The FashioNZ website is a comprehensive reference guide to New Zealand fashion designers, manufacturers, retailers and events, with more than 40,000 people visiting the site each week to get their fashion hit. The site also has 53,000 subscribers, with around 20% of those based overseas.
www.fashionz.co.nz, just last week named by international web ranking service Alexa as the 58,519th most visited website in the world - ahead of Vogue Australia, Marie Claire International and Stylebyte.com - is celebrating its birthday this week with special onsite giveaways. The site also holds the title of top fashion site in New Zealand, as named by Netguide for two years running. Nicky Wagner, FashioNZ managing director, says she is delighted the site has established itself as a fundamental part of the New Zealand fashion scene.
“Fashion is a very tough and time-sensitive industry, and it is full of people who are artistic and creative but don’t necessarily have the resources to get their message across in a cost-effective way,” Wagner says. “Basically not many fashion people can afford the marketing materials to really make a splash internationally,” she says. “FashioNZ has really stepped into that gap to assist with support and marketing for small businesses. And through the web, they have access to the world,” Wagner says.
Wagner believes fashion has gained increasing credibility in the public eye in recent years. “I’m really pleased with how the fashion industry has become sexy and interesting in the last few years and I think part of that is to do with us,” Wagner says.
www.fashionz.co.nz carries both editorial and advertorial content. Its weekly fashion report and its front pages carry stories from the fashion world while its inside pages carry “mini-sites” paid for by fashion brands and maintained and updated by FashioNZ. FashioNZ has five staff, including webmistress Charlotte Savill and Auckland manager/editor Julie Roulston - responsible for day-to-day editorial content and client liaison. Wagner says FashioNZ is designed as an integrated portal, or “doorway” to the New Zealand fashion industry. “From fashion designers to manufacturers, retailers and events, if you want to know anything about fashion in New Zealand you come to FashioNZ.”
Wagner has a sales and marketing fashion industry background and, while doing an MBA, started to appreciate the potential of the internet. “I was reading a book one day and it talked about revitalising old industries with new technology and that was it - it all fell into place,” she says. “It became obvious that the net was a really good tool for the fashion business, particularly for exporters. And where once they felt they were fairly isolated from the world, www.fashionz.co.nz suddenly allowed them to develop relationships with retailers and customers worldwide.”
So successful has FashioNZ been that Wagner has also developed two further websites using the www.fashionz.co.nz model. Great gardening information and monthly gardening tips can be found on www.garden-nz.co.nz, established close to three years ago. And for computing information, tips and tricks, check out www.computer-nz.com, established a year ago.
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PROFILE: NICKY WAGNER
FashioNZ managing director Nicky Wagner has a passion for small business. Christchurch born and bred, Wagner has a background in marketing consulting and was involved for many years with the fashion industry. When she was introduced to IT while studying for an MBA she developed a vision of how fashion and IT could work together.
The result was www.fashionz.co.nz, launched in 1998 as an online industry cluster to help fashion brands market themselves and develop wider relationships. Launching FashioNZ required a lot of ground work, particularly in assessing how internet technology could best be used in the business of fashion. “I went on the net and surfed for about a month and I had to learn a lot about how it all worked,” Wagner says. “It was a lot of hard work putting the pieces together but because I had a marketing background and was very passionate about it - and had invested a lot of my own money - I learned pretty quickly.”
Wagner has an entrepreneurial approach to business. In fact, two years ago Netguide named her one of New Zealand’s top “netpreneurs”. Wagner recently stood as a candidate in the general election, driven by a desire to see more support for small businesses. “It is really important that small business are nurtured and marketed to help them succeed,” Wagner says.
Not content to rest on her FashioNZ laurels, Wagner has created two further sites based on the industry cluster model. www.garden-nz.co.nz established close to three years ago, provides gardening information and monthly gardening tips and www.computer-nz.com provides computing information, tips and tricks.
Wagner is on the board of directors for the Ashburton Building Society, the Canterbury Chamber of Commerce and the Christchurch Arts Festival. She is also on the trust board for the Young Designers Award, a national design award for secondary school students.
FASHIONZ BRIEFING INFORMATION
- Late August 1998. Nicky Wagner launches www.fashionz.co.nz. Almost immediately, the site wins a Wammo Award for excellence in website design, with good technology and content.
- September 1998. A month into operation, www.fashionz.co.nz, wins a Soda Award for excellence in website design, content and style.
- November 1998. Smith & Caughey launch a beauty site online at www.fashionz.co.nz. The department store beauty site is designed and created by FashioNZ. This is a significant endorsement of FashioNZ, with a leading department store embracing the new technology opportunities the site offers.
- December 1998. www.fashionz.co.nz launches its first virtual fashion parade, showcasing a sequence of fashion show photos with parade-style commentary.
- June 1999. The website reaches its first milestone, with 10,000 subscribers signed up. FashioNZ also launches weekly fashion reports for subscribers.
- November 1999. www.garden-nz.co.nz - an industry cluster site modelled on FashioNZ is established by Nicky Wagner.
- By April 2000, FashioNZ subscribers have doubled to 20,000.
- September 2000. Hitwise - an Australasian online competitive ranking service - launches in New Zealand. In the inaugural rankings, www.fashionz.co.nz is named the number one New Zealand fashion site, and has remained in this position ever since.
- October 2000. First FashioNZ e-zine launched. This is a monthly, comprehensive online fashion magazine which can also be referenced on the site for up to six months.
- November 2000. The Netguide Top 500 rankings name www.fashionz.co.nz as the top New Zealand fashion site.
- February 2001. 30,000 subscribers reached. Television business programme Telstra Business profiles FashioNZ and credits the cluster site for supporting New Zealand fashion internationally.
- Also in February 2001, FashioNZ is ranked the 105,090 most visited website in the world, ahead of Vogue Australia (down the list at 361,889) by international web ranking service Alexa.
- March 2001. Auckland manager/editor Julie Roulston is appointed.
- May 2001.Nicky Wagner launches www.computer-nz.com, again modelled on FashioNZ and offering a wealth of computer information.
- October 2001. www.fashionz.co.nz hosts the Buyers Lounge at the inaugural L’Oreal New Zealand Fashion Week.
- November 2001. For the second year running, the Netguide Top 500 Awards name www.fashionz.co.nz as New Zealand’s top fashion site.
- December 2001. 40,000 subscribers.
- February 2002. www.fashionz.co.nz rockets upwards in the worldwide rankings published by international web ranking service Alexa. www.fashionz.co.nz is now the 87,639 most visited website in the world.
- April 2002. Canadian website Cyberpress.ca profiles FashioNZ as an example of a high quality site from a small country. “Another superb New Zealand site ¡K which concentrates almost exclusively on the New Zealand fashion scene. Anyone who is part of Quebec’s fashion industry should have a look at this site, which shows that even the smallest country can produce a high quality webzine, and has had the “nous’ to establish its own place on the Net.”
- June 2002. 53,000 subscribers.
- August 29, 2002. www.fashionz.co.nz turns 4. And again it rockets ahead in the worldwide rankings published by international web ranking service Alexa. As of August 20, www.fashionz.co.nz is now the 58,519 most visited website in the world - streets ahead of Marie Claire International at 84,930, Vogue Australia at 178,586, Stylebyte.com at 516,333 and The New Black at 1,620,640.