Fashion designer Cybele Wiren is not the usual NZ Innovators Awards nominee. She’s from a small Coromandel village, studied painting and is more comfortable playing with daughter Phoebe than networking at conferences.
Cybele is, however an innovative and creative icon of the New Zealand fashion scene. She was an NZ Innovators Award nominee back in 2008 and progressed to opening her flagship store in 2011.
She sees innovation and the creative industries as intricately linked.
“In fashion that’s what we do; creative innovation, reinvention and applying ideas in new ways,” says Wiren.
She is quick to point out that fashion is often degraded trends.
“There’s an idea that ‘it’s all been done before’, then you have the constraints of what can physically be worn. So it’s about how you reinterpret each season to place your signature on an
For Cybele, inspiration comes from nature – previous motifs in her work include wings.
“I’m inherently drawn to flight and the natural world, that’s something I draw on,” she says.
The young designer stops short of calling them a part of her brand, however.
“Yes I’m known for these motifs, but it has to be a genuine story you weave. You can’t contrive it for business.
“I tend to work the other way, first creating.”
If her own store and orders from Australia and Japan are measurements of success, the Cybele way seems to be working out just fine.
Don’t think the NZ Innovators Awards are just for the tech heads. The call for entries is open, so enter here now.