Former NZ cyclist and Air NZ aeronautical designer Geoff Gates has recently launched his second export fashion line, this time an activewear label named Zovari.
Following Gates’ swimwear line Cinnamon Swan, which launched in November, Zovari is a locally made activewear range designed to bridge the gap between high performance and fashion, while remaining environmentally focused as well.
“What we are seeing overseas is a trend toward cross-compatibility in clothing where activewear is becoming swimwear and swimwear is becoming interchangeable for activewear,” says Gates.
Speaking about the activewear industry, Gates says there needs to be more inclusivity. Traditionally, the activewear market has been dominated by brands with limited size ranges and limited diversity.
“Ethically we have some real concerns about the message this sends women and we wanted to ensure our range inspires and includes all women no matter what their shape or size.”
Zovari’s sizes currently range from extra small to XXL, with the aim to include a greater number of sizes as the brand grows. Initial feedback from local retailers has been positive, and the label’s high-fashion avant-garde design and competitive pricing has been an attraction for customers.
“As well as a wide range of sizing we wanted to create designer pieces with a focus on quality rather than quantity, we wanted a sustainable and progressive brand that blends high-end fashion with traditional activewear.”
Gates, who represented New Zealand as a road cyclist prior to his aeronautical design career, says the company plans to export the line once it is established locally, with the first export step being Australia.
“From there we want to target the US West Coast, European and Chinese markets where the New Zealand brand is highly marketable at the moment.”
Having already accumulated 10,000 followers on Instagram, Gates says it will be important to use social media as part of the brand’s export marketing strategy.