What’s your favourite…
There are so many amazing examples of architecture today, but I hark back to the foresight of Falling Water by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1936 to 1939.
My obsession with well-designed circles and squares is hard to ignore. To narrow it one piece, it would have to be the role poly chair by Faye Toogood. Ideally, I'd have several of her objects in a spacious concrete gallery like house… and more well-designed spheres and squares around it.
Yohji Yamamoto + Rei Kawakubo – Comme des Garcons.
All the designers at The Shelter: Marques Almeida, Barbara I Gongini, Bernhard Willhelm, Margiela and MM6, Issey Miyake and nowadays I get to have them all under one roof.
Use of design to change behaviour?
All good design should influence and guide our behaviours. Anything that makes our life easier, rather than just communicate to us, is a successful design in today's world. Really people themselves change their behaviours because of need, and if a design is used to facilitate that need, it is successful.
One of my favourites has to be the swipe feature on the touch screen – so satisfying to delete and quick to use.
Inspiring design-related book/podcast/TV show/website/magazine/story?
Fashion project you’ve had a hand in?
The Shelter – bringing together local and international designers into one space where we dare to disrupt expectations and let our designer’s stories be uncovered. We love bringing together creative ideas that are both tactile and timelessly elegant. Having won three interior awards, our reputation as a design store is probably better recognised internationally than locally.
Fashion project that isn’t yours, but you’re envious of?
Maggie Marilyn - our young New Zealand designer who made it to the 21 short-listed finalists in the LMVH international designer award - she has done so well. I was one of the first to see her collections and it blew me away, and nowadays I get to settle with the fact we can sell her clever designs at The Shelter.
What first drew you to design?
When I knew I could not support myself as an artist, I had to find a creative outlet that would still support my lifestyle.
Where does inspiration come from for you?
Inspiration comes from all around – I am drawn to angles, shapes, geometry and asymmetrical features and these can be as simple as a shadow on a pavement, a piece of artwork or a set of lines stretching down a page that I want to move and bend around a body.
Do you have a design ethos/motto you abide by in your work?
Our Taylor ethos and values are hugely important to us. Taylor fosters individual creativity and experimentation through inspired design. Designing collections proudly from New Zealand that effortlessly integrate into your world and elevate your sense of self.
Do you have any creative side hustles going on outside of your line of work? If so, what?
Like any creative, we often have often things happening around us – my latest sidetrack is FRAMES X THE SHELTER. The idea of FRAMES came about through meeting so many emerging creatives through our other business, The Shelter in Ponsonby. We selected about 15 of these creatives - some as young as 14 to 15 years old, who show vision, maturity and focus well beyond their years. I was quite blown away how such global outlooks are already shaping their style. New Zealand punches well above our weight internationally in many creative fields, so it was exciting to meet these young people and see what would happen if we could give them some nurturing and opportunity by putting some mentors around them and giving them the ability to connect with other people at different stages of their journeys. It’s great as I get to watch, advise and curate some fresh emerging talent, which is very inspiring to be part of. You can watch this progress on our website.
How has technology impacted on your work?
Our industry has been dramatically changed by technology, from digitalised patterns, to ecommerce, and of course the ease of Xero, which controls all those finances us creatives prefer not to worry about. This evolution has totally changed the way our work flows as well as our interactions with clients and suppliers.
How do you think it will impact on it in the future?
With the speed at which the world is changing… do any of us know even what jobs will exist in the future?
Who are some of your design heroes?
There are so many brands doing amazing things both here in New Zealand and internationally.
- Kuboraum: A Berlin-based based eyewear company who not only have the most inspiring collection of eyewear – or face masks as they refer to them - then last year they won the Silmo d’or eyewear award for 2016.
- 312 5. by Issey Miyake: After always being intrigued by the intellectual and clever approach to design by this Japanese master, I am loving this new brand they have released where each design is a three-dimensional object, made from one piece of fabric which will fold into a two-dimensional shape. Hence the 321 that starts the brand name.
- Sans (ceuticals): Our local skin and hair care brand, which is creating a generation of beauty with beautiful products and ethics that remain so true to the brand.
Best design-related advice you ever received?
Do what you love….
What do you enjoy the most about working in this industry?
I get to enjoy going to work every day! Every day is different, I am thrown different challenges and creatively challenged consistently… It is not just about having a good idea or a good season or range – 18 years into this industry and I still keep trying to be better than the season before.
How do you define New Zealand’s fashion design culture?
New Zealand has its own microclimate for fashion. Our distance from the main fashion centres of the world means we have an industry that thrives on uniqueness, and for a small country, the variation you can get is quite incredible. There are so many small brands that all get the opportunity to bring their ideas to market. This allows great variety for the consumers.
Our easygoing nature and casual lifestyle are also greatly reflected in our fashion successes.
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