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2007 Verge Breakthrough Designers Line Up

Media Release
25 July 2007


Verge mentors six designers for their Air New Zealand Fashion Week debut in 2007

Two catwalk shows featuring six of the most exciting emerging designers in New Zealand will show under the Verge Breakthrough Designer mantle at Air New Zealand Fashion Week in September.

This year’s crop includes menswear from Dunedin and women’s collections from Christchurch to Wanganui and Auckland.

The designers were announced as part of the official designer launch for Air New Zealand Fashion Week on Tuesday 24 July, having spent most of the day at a special Boot Camp organised by Ian Webster and Neil Brabant of Verge, one of New Zealand’s leading designer fashion exporters.

This year’s Boot Camp featured an address by leading Australian export agent, Susie Sharrock who is responsible for designer fashion export orders from New Zealand to Australia of around $50 million each year.

Sharrock, who represents Verge told the new designers what it takes to cut it across the Tasman with other speakers giving advice on pricing, marketing and 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 Charmaine Love, Cybele, Helen Talbot, Firefly, Pearl, James & August, Keucke, Lonely Hearts Club, Widdess and Michael Pattison.

Ian Webster of Verge acknowledges this year’s designers have a hard act to follow but says there’s huge satisfaction in watching a fledgling designer take off.

“We get great feedback about the benefits of the Verge Breakthrough programme. Designers who see value in our mentoring are also willing to take advice from banks, agents and retailers and that makes them contenders for a viable and successful export business, which is the whole point of showing at Air New Zealand Fashion Week.”

A list of the Verge Breakthrough Designers follows.

For further information please contact

Lisa Powlesland Elaine Koller Cathy Campbell Communications
Ph: 09 631 1234
Mob: 021 890 984 Ph: 09 368 5100

Background on the 2007 Verge Breakthrough Designers
The six labels selected for the 2007 Verge Breakthrough Designer programme are;

Profile: Nicola Reilly, Elusive
Elusiv was formed in January 2005 in Dunedin by designer/production manager Nicola Reilly and professional rugby player, Ben Smith, along with a graphic designer, manufacturing supervisor, and guidance from the Dunedin Fashion Incubator.

Nicola Reilly's motivation is to create high quality clothing in tune with the modern man’s desire to subtly express his inner confidence - decisive, strong and assuredly masculine as well as informed, considered and intriguing. Quality garments are made with a strong consideration to fit, fabric, stitching, finish and feel. Style of clothing comes through a Dunedin fashion attitude where genuine expression is valued. In 2006 Elusive provided clothing for the Highlanders Super 14 team. Elusive has been worn by celebrities including JD Fortune of INXS and Josh Cronfeld. Elusiv clothing is currently in ten retail stores in major centres throughout New Zealand.

Profile: Claire Euinton, Euinton
Claire Euinton, designer of ‘EUiNTON’, started designing and producing her own label straight out of Wanganui Polytech, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Fashion Design with high distinction. After selling through two collections under the umbrella of an established knitwear company, the Euinton label had proved successful enough to stand on its own. Claire then formed Adorn Ltd, which is now barely a year old. For as long as she can remember, Claire dreamt of having her own label and taking it to the world stage. Her life so far has been driven by her creativity and hard work to achieve that goal.

Motivated by the constant need to evolve and develop, once a collection has been finalised, it serves as a basis to improve and develop upon… the work of a designer is never finished. “I want to create clothing that really appeals to the wearer’s emotional side, precious pieces of clothing that love to be shown off!”

Profile: Sheridah Anderson, Thomas Valentine
Thomas Valentine designer, Sheridah Anderson, learnt to design and sew at a very early age from her mother, a tailor. Originally __Sheridah trained as a biochemist and teacher, before practising as a barrister for 15 years. Sheridah released her first capsule range in Winter 2004 while she was still working within the legal world. The part time endeavour garnered a huge response, but it wasn’t until 2006 when she decided to design on a full time basis that a larger, more complete second collection was created. The 2007 Autumn/Winter collection of fifty pieces from Thomas Valentine is the label’s second.

Her motivation comes from a love of great design, the distinctive quality and movement of fabric and the essence of the forms that then evolve in beautiful garments. She also seeks inspiration from the lives of the women around her, what they need to complete them and how they express their own personal style.

Profile: Vicki Reid and Nicola Karam, Oyl
Vicki Reid and Nicola Karam are friends who share a vision to create clothes without compromise which satisfy our love for luxury in everyday life. The essence of Oyl is mystery. The words that characterise the label are: serene, urbane, opulent, esoteric, mysterious and ethereal. Oyl presents a serene style characterised by an opulent edginess that is supremely wearable. Tactile fabrics and an eye for detail are the basis for Oyl collections.

Profile: Robyn Stewart, Mille Feuille
Australian born Robyn Stewart has spent more than 10 years covering all the facets of the fashion business including design, production, wholesale and retail in Australia and New Zealand. Based in Christchurch, Robyn operates Mille Feuille with husband Carl.

Robyn is passionately working with classic 19th and 20th century patterns made of natural fibres. Mille Feuille caters to the sophisticated woman who knows exactly the kind of fashion that flatters her silhouette. Known for innovative, elegant design that enhances the figure, luxury fabrics and breathtaking vintage adornments, Mille Feuille garments are unique in construction and are made from classic couture techniques and finishes. The new collection features cashmere, wool and art deco clasps of crystal and rhinestones.

Profile: Teresa Hodges, Blak Basics
Teresa Hodges learnt to sew at an early age by watching her mother teach her sister. As a teenager she would visit op shops to buy clothes and vintage fabrics she would later rework into fabulous party outfits. Returning home after her OE, Teresa decided to turn her passion into a career and enrolled in a diploma in Fashion Design Technology. On completion of her diploma, Teresa was offered the position of Design Assistant at Moochi. Within a year she was traveling to Paris, Milan and London, and quickly progressed to becoming the becoming Head Designer and part of the Management Team.

After four years with Moochi, and following the arrival of her daughter, the time had come for Teresa to take her career to the next level. She created the business plan for her for her own label, Blak Basics.

Blak Basics are designed to be a girl’s best friend – essential basics that pull a wardrobe of designer pieces together. The label, now stocked in eight high profiled stores throughout the country, combines key features including quality Italian fabric and attention grabbing designs with practicality with a twist.


Full contact details of the 2007 Verge Breakthrough Designers can be downloaded from the Air New Zealand Fashion Week website from 25 July 2007.

© Scoop Media

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