14 New Zealand Fashion Brands To Know About

Kiwi couture

By Teagan Witherow | 4th April 2024

There is something to be said about the level of talent found just a hop, skip, and jump away in Aotearoa (New Zealand) with many cult favourites and emerging fashion designers taking front-row seats in the industry. As self-proclaimed fashionistas, we’ve been eyeing our neighbours for a while now and we have to say their designs are fire.

Since ’99, New Zealand has been flaunting its 100% Pure New Zealand tagline, a little reminder of its picturesque landscapes and untamed beauty. So, it’s no wonder sustainability is sewn into the DNA of many designs, with materials paying homage to the natural surroundings. Think linens, cotton, and wools (probably partially because when life gives you a ridiculous number of sheep, you make ethically sourced woollens, right?).

New Zealand designers are leading the charge (sheep and all) towards a more circular fashion economy, one eco-friendly stitch at a time. Whether it be the 90s dressing of Paris Georgia or the edge of contemporary labels, there’s something for every fashion palate.

Let us introduce you to a select group of Kiwi designers who are rewriting the fashion rulebook.

Wynn Hamlyn 

Wynn Hamlyn, the brainchild of Wynn Crawshaw, is an innovative and well-known brand where every piece is made with respect for traditional techniques and materials. You might recognise a Wynn Hamlyn piece from its signature form and shape that draws intimate attention to the silhouette. Often collaborating with artists and makers, Wynn Hamlyn continues to push the boundaries of what is possible in fashion.

 

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Maggie Marilyn 

Forging a future in fashion that is transparent, circular, regenerative, and inclusive, Maggie Marilyn is a well-loved New Zealand brand. Known for creating timeless and season-less designs to be purchased and loved for a lifetime. When you let go of the grow more, discard more cycle, and find comfort in buying as you need, repair what you can, and repurpose what you can’t – that’s when you’ll find a home at Maggie Marilyn.

Harris Tapper 

Founded by dynamic duo, Sarah Harris and Lauren Tapper, Harris Tapper is a women’s ready-to-wear brand offering sartorial choices to serve the modern professional life. In 2017 Sarah and Lauren saw a gap in the market and filled it with high-quality, directional women’s shirting at an accessible price point. Now, the brand is among one of our favourites of all time.

 

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Pharlain 

Creating beautifully crafted knitwear since ’23, Pharlain is a beloved brand and for good reason. They’re known for their substantial pieces in bold feminine colours that invite you to spend seasons in a more colourful space. Often experimenting with hand-crochet, knitwear, and high-quality brushed 100% merino wool – all garments are made to last.

 

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Olivia Cashmore 

Founded in Auckland in 2021, Olivia Cashmore’s brand embodies the duality of feminine and masculine. Think classic shapes imbued with the refined precision of men’s tailoring, yet exuding the softness and practicality of feminine comfort. Oliva Cashmore’s designs call for the modern woman who appreciates design and quality.

Wixii 

Wixii is a family-run and independent business offering progressive in-house designed clothing. The brand is also known for its hand-selected range of curated vintage clothing. They’re all about blending their fresh, contemporary designs alongside vintage gems. If you’re seeking depth and diversity in your wardrobe then you’ll love Wixii.

 

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BW 36.174

Born in Auckland, BW 36.174 was founded by Blair Wheeler and is known for its luxury womenswear. The name itself is a clever nod to Blair’s roots, with “BW” representing his initials and “36.174” marking the coordinates of Auckland. The BW aesthetic is two things; technical and an extension of Blair’s muse (a woman who evokes confidence, determination, and exudes magnetic energy).

 

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Kowtow 

At Kowtow, clothing is a vessel for a larger purpose where every stitch, every seam, and every garment is a conscious step towards a healthier planet. Founded by Gosia Piatek in 2006, Kowtow is on a mission to redefine what it means to be fashion-forward. The garments are made entirely from 100% certified Fairtrade cotton, traced from seed to garment. It’s fashion you can feel good about, inside and out.

 

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Paris Georgia 

Launched in 2015 by friends Paris Mitchell Temple and Georgia Cherrie, Paris Georgia is both a reflection of its founders and a reaction to the discerning women who form its community. Luxurious fabrics mingle with silhouettes that pay homage to the female form – it’s fashion that transcends seasons, making every wearer feel effortlessly chic.

 

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Yu Mei 

Born in Wellington, Yu Mei is the epitome of modern luxury, blending utilitarian design with understated elegance. Created from New Zealand-farmed premium deer nappa, their bags boast both sustainability and softness, making them a must-have for conscious consumers worldwide. Find them at major department stores across Australasia and on Farfetch.

 

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Meadowlark 

From a humble home workshop in Auckland, Meadowlark has blossomed into an independent jewellery studio. Their creations, inspired by art, nature, and travel, range from everyday essentials to enigmatic seasonal collections, perfect for any occasion.

Rory William Docherty 

Blending art and fashion, Rory William Docherty creates seasonless pieces featuring original hand-drawn and painted artworks. Embracing a unisex approach, his designs are fluid and open to interpretation, made from exclusive fabrics like silk prints, Italian wool, and Egyptian cotton.

Karen Walker

With an eccentrically elegant style, Karen Walker has captivated an international following with her ready-to-wear, eyewear, jewellery, and more. Her designs cleverly play with contrasts, blending luxe with street, and masculine with feminine, to create pieces that are both directional and wearable.

 

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Georgia Jay

Polished and practical – Georgia Jay offers a range of stunning bags that celebrate thoughtful design, exquisite detailing, and uncompromised quality. Their design process focuses on the essential and the emotive; they explore colour and shape in their purest forms, while also navigating the purpose of a bag and the role it plays in daily life.

 

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Header image: @paris__georgia

By Teagan Witherow
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