What’s the best career advice you ever received?
To remember there are highs and lows in any career, and it’s important to stay positive during the lows.
Do your NZ roots influence your designs? What about New York City?
New Zealanders have an “anything is possible” attitude that I apply to my design process, as well as my life. New York and the people here inspire me every day. My surroundings are one of my main sources of inspiration.
Who are your muses and style icons?
David Bowie and Debbie Harry.
Do you have specific inspirations when starting your new collections?
I am inspired by so many things: Art, music, literature. It can also be my state of mind at the time. When I designed spring 2013, I was here in New York but picturing myself somewhere tropical, a sort of dreaming of Hawaii mood. I think that came through in the designs.
What’s on your current mood board?
Images of organically made crystals, architectural details from designers like Frank Lloyd Wright and Olafur Eliasson.
Do you follow the fashion world closely? Who are your favorite designers?
I do, I’m always researching. I don’t have much time for shopping but I like to. Simone Rocha’s designs are really cool, she’s a current favorite.
How would you describe your style philosophy?
Functional utilitarian with a touch of refinement.
Are collaborations something you’re interested in?
Definitely. It’s great that collaborations have become more and more prevalent over the years. It’s exciting to see the end product of two people working together creatively.
Who is one of your fave celebs that you’ve dressed? Who would you love to dress that you haven’t?
We’re lucky enough to have some lovely celebrity fans, but Kate Middleton is a definite highlight. The day she wore our tweed suit, my staff taped a picture of her to the front desk so I would see as soon as I got in. They knew it would make my week!
What was your first New York fashion week experience like?
Crazy, exciting, nerve-racking–a bit like getting married!
It’s so hectic leading up to fashion week! What do you do to unwind afterward?
Champagne with family and friends. And I’m looking forward to a beach vacation with my family.
Any fun plans on the horizon you can share with us?
We’re hoping on more store openings; we opened four boutiques in 2012 and are discussing plans for more. And now that the Fall 2013 show is wrapped, I’m going right back to designing the next collection. It’s crazy!