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These are a few of my favourite things: Blak founder Teresa Hodges

What’s your favourite…

Brand identity?

New Zealand! We stand proud as such a beautiful clean green country full of so many amazing success stories. I am always so proud to stand behind this identity and so grateful to come home to this.


Tamina Thermal baths by Smolenicky and Partner. This building ties in all my loves for architecture: an immense 20-metre high building with beautiful white wood oval columns, creating such a take-your-breath-away sort of space. Being coloured completely white (always my favourite) against the tranquil pools provides the most serene atmosphere.


My Dad left my siblings and I a pristine condition 1968 Convertible Camaro. Driving it with the roof down on a sunny day by the beach is the best feeling, remembering my Dad with his love for this car and us.

Clothing designer?

Stella McCartney, Dion Lee and Claire Wright Keller.

Claire Wright Kneller’s designs for Chloe’s 2015 spring collection

Clothing brand?

Chloe – I love the softness of feminine styles yet always mixed back with such a cool chilled vibe.

Use of design to change behaviour?

I love how there is so much strength behind global movements to ensure we are all making the right choices to protect our people and environment amongst our processes. It is so important to look at how we can improve and help to influence the world in a positive way.

Inspiring design-related book/podcast/TVshow/website/magazine/story?

Our brand manager recently gifted me the Chloe Attitudes book for my birthday. I love the inspiring story and how beautiful the book itself is.

Fashion project you’ve had a hand in?

We collaborate with amazing artists who work with us to create exclusive prints each season. It is always such a pleasure and so inspiring to work with such talented creatives. A few of my favourites have been Kelly Thompson, who is such an ambassador for artists, recently opening her agency Makers Mgmt and Marcello Velho, a creative artist in the UK who just totally got us and created a print that I will forever love.

Kelly Thomson

Fashion project that isn’t yours, but you’re envious of?

I’m not often envious of what someone else is doing, I admire it and use what they have done to inspire and push myself further. I love seeing unique ideas that have left a mark with people.

What first drew you to design?

I love creating and admiring beautiful things. Taking something from nothing to an amazing piece is fulfilling. I was always clear that I wanted to have a career path that wasn’t doing the same routine each day, design is a forever changing and evolving process.

Where does inspiration come from for you?

Everywhere, I don’t think my mind ever stops. I believe as long as you are absorbing your environment you are taking the most out of life and putting it back into your work.

Do you have a design ethos/motto you abide by in your work?

I am quite a perfectionist so I do go over and over my collections and don’t stop until the last minute. I’m not sure that’s a good thing for my sanity but at least I know I have given it everything I have.

Do you have any creative side hustles going on outside of your line of work? If so, what?

Our Bridesmaids Collection has been an amazing journey into another world of design. I feel honoured to work with brides on one of the most special days in their lives for their most special girls. It is a beautiful process with such a heartfelt outcome.

How has technology impacted on your work? How do you think it will impact on it in the future?

Everything is now instant; we need to evolve quicker and be more distinctive to our brand so we stand unique. Technology gives us so much more, but always pushes us to do more which is a blessing. It gives us an amazing platform to reach out and talk to our followers giving them more about the story and journey along the way.

Who are some of your design heroes?

Karen Walker is an obvious choice. She has lead New Zealand fashion for years and continues to push it further always surprising and capturing her audience with the next clever marketing campaign. She is a true talent that represents our country and design creatives remarkably.

Best design-related advice you ever received?

Never settle, look at it again and push the direction further. 

What do you enjoy the most about working in this industry?

There are so many amazing, successful like-minded people, I love listening to their stories and where they are headed next. I love that I can be a part of this world but also have my quiet behind-the-scenes time.

How do you define New Zealand’s fashion design culture?

I admire how New Zealanders are brave and ready to take risks. We are unique and driven and want our brands/identities to make a mark in the world.

Elly is Idealog's editor and resident dog enthusiast. She enjoys travelling, tea, good books, and writing about exciting ideas and cool entrepreneurs.

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