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MisteR Designers Off to Fashion Week

MisteR Designers Off to Fashion Week

Launch your own label, show at New Zealand Fashion Week – it’s the path most fashion graduates dream of. CPIT graduates Mickey Lin and Ra Thomson of MisteR are almost there and Next Top Model judge, Colin Mathura-Jeffree, has already flagged them out as a label to watch.

MisteR’s fashion week debut is the culmination of hard work, talent and support from CPIT. Now, ten years on from CPIT’s fashion technology and design course, where they met, and five years after launching MisteR, Mickey and Ra are keen to raise the profile of their exquisite menswear range through the exposure only New Zealand’s premier fashion event can provide.

MisteR was a response to a gap in the menswear market. MisteR’s New Zealand made, natural fibre, fitted and beautifully tailored menswear contrasted the boxy shapes and loose styles that dominated menswear. Suddenly, tall, skinny boys had something to wear too; something with colourful silk and cotton linings, structured international style and simply joyous details.

“The first shop we sold in was Marvels in Wellington,” Mickey said. “We walked in to them and they said ‘yes’. We sold so well the owner decided to stock us in her Auckland shop too. Then we got Ballantynes Contemporary Lounge - we called them every week for months until they said yes.”

“The first two seasons we made pretty much everything - it was a smaller scale than now,” Ra said.

Ra and Mickey still make several styles themselves. The rest they outsource – the jeans go to Nelson, the shirts to Hamilton, the jackets are made in Christchurch and the knitwear goes to Auckland. “We think the places we have found are the best,” Mickey said. MisteR has also collected a few more retailers and their temporary post-quake relocation doesn’t seem to have slowed them down.

Both designers stay in touch with their classmates and tutors. “We always speak very highly of our time at CPIT,” Ra said. “CPIT created a community for us - that is one of the best things about it. The skills you learn there are probably some of the best in New Zealand because of the hands-on approach to how fashion is done. Other courses are more design-oriented.”

“You can pretty much walk into a design workroom and take up any job,” Mickey added.

For five years Mickey and Ra worked for other companies (Jockey children’s underwear and Starfish – Ra, Ballantynes fabric department and New York label Gam and Gale – Mickey). Now MisteR is well established and off to fashion week with a bright future ahead.

“The main thing is to make MisteR better known locally,” Mickey said, “but if we get international orders it will be awesome. Every designer wants to get to New Zealand Fashion Week. Hopefully in five years for us it will be New York Fashion Week or London.”

For more information about CPIT’s fashion design and technology programmes contact CPIT on 0800 24 24 76 or visit


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