New Zealand designer chosen for top US fashion show

Six months after the Frances Jerard launched her fashion label, her collection “NZ to NY” will be featured as part of the J Spring Fashion Show

Wendy Jerard jumped off the Sky Tower to launch her label – Frances Jerard. Now her designs will walk on the water of the Hudson River in New York.

After launching her label only six months ago, the Christchurch designer has been selected for the J Spring Fashion Show in New York City.

The J Spring Fashion show is a celebration of design, art and fashion organised by model and entrepreneur Jessica Minh Anh.  

Minh Anh is known for making catwalks in strange places, with global designs walking the heights of the Eiffel Tower, One World Trade Centre and the Grand Canyon Sky Walk.

Designer Wendy Jerard
​(click on image to see more designs from the J Spring Fashion Show)

The spring fashion show, on March 19, will mark Minh Anh’s ninth catwalk and will see the Hudson River’s giant glass boat transformed into a 100-metre floating runway, where Jerard’s designs will be showcased in front of New York’s iconic skyline.

Jerard says it was a big surprise to be chosen to showcase her work on such a global platform only six months after the launch.

“I received an email saying I’d been selected for my use of colour and texture but I don’t actually know how they found me”.

She says the designs are ultra-feminine, floral, full of texture and suitably named “NZ to NY”.

Jessica Minh Anh calls the collection “fun and flirtatious yet sophisticated and elegant”.

“I love the creative mix of colours and texture in Frances’ designs. Her vibrant muti-layered dresses accentuate a woman’s body.

Jerard achieved initial success last year showing in the New Generation section of New Zealand Fashion Week.

But before breaking into the fashion industry, she had several different careers, including working as a florist, waitress, and Air NZ air stewardess. These days, alongside developing her label, she’s working as a nurse.

“All those life experiences have been invaluable. They’ve given me the necessary skills to negotiate and I’ve learnt something different from each one of them.”

But fashion has been her dream since she was a young girl.

“I snuck down to Mum’s bedroom and pulled out the sewing machine and found this piece of fabric, cut out a skirt and sewed it up and I can distinctly remember prancing up to mother and her friends.”