Aotearoa’s Designers well Adorned by Hollywood’s A-List

BY ROXY ALLNUTT

Fashion-forward Kiwi designers are forging a new path in the industry. They’re transparent, progressive, and world-class.

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4 AUG - 2022

Kiwi creatives have long punched above their weight in the international sphere.

We are pretty spoilt for choice when it comes to Kiwi designers that simply get it right. It isn't surprising to see these brands being picked up by celebrity stylists, dressing their clients in the brands we call home. Here are six Aotearoa designers making it big overseas and filling wardrobes around the world.

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Lorde wearing Paris Georgia

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Zoe Kravitz wearing Meadowlark

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Karen Walker

Karen Walker is perhaps Aotearoa's best-known fashion designer. Her modern, tailored, androgynous signature style is lauded internationally. As you are all aware, her creations include eyewear, jewellery, fragrances, as well as home furnishings. And if you want to extend your aesthetic preferences to your fashionable Frenchie, there are also pet accessories like the adorable bow-tie leash. Her designs have been worn by the likes of Maggie Gyllenhaal, Adele, Lorde, Priyanka Chopra, Rihanna, Gigi Hadid, Michelle Obama, and Lady Gaga.

“I believe my success has been due to a combination of luck, curiosity, and a willingness to try new things. Knowing your purpose is probably the most important thing. Everything serves the pursuit of that goal, from the smallest detail of what this meeting is about to what the next 50 years are about. As well as everything in between." - Karen Walker

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Taylor Swift in Karen Walker Eyewear

Maggie Marilyn

Maggie Marilyn has received international acclaim not only for her striking, romantic designs but also for her sustainable design approach. So much so, that even Michelle Obama has given Maggie Hewitt her stamp of approval. Both beautiful and ethical, she is dedicated to manufacturing locally. She has dressed Meghan Markle, Karlie Kloss, and Kendall Jenner, in addition to the former First Lady. In just five years, Maggie has built an eponymous brand on tangible empowerment when it comes to climate action.

Maggie Marilyn believes that the planet's survival hinges on its ability to dream up a better tomorrow, which is why they believe that the future of fashion is one rooted in transparency, circularity, regeneration, and inclusion. An industry where clothing can be traced from farm to finished garment, where workers are treated with dignity and respect, and consumers understand the true cost and value of their clothing. An incredible mission that the company always tops.

Her collections are completely adored by locals and are consistently recognised on a global scale, being picked up by International Vogue and Grazia.

“I always knew Maggie Marilyn was going to be values-driven from the bottom up” - Maggie Hewit

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Kris Jenner wears Maggie Marilyn

Paris Georgia

Luxury fabrics meet silhouettes that pay homage to the female form and favour subtle design over seasonal trends. This, coupled with the brand's emphasis on high-quality textiles and construction, has given Paris Georgia a timeless, transcendent quality. Founded by Auckland best friends Paris Mitchell Temple and Georgia Cherrie in 2016, Paris Georgia has become renowned for its '90s-inspired minimalist style.

Loved by Lady Gaga, Kendall Jenner, Kim Kardashian, Phoebe Tonkin, Lorde, and Georgia Fowler (just to name a few), Paris Georgia is donned by donned by the stylish of icons.

Paris Georgia designs women's clothing based on the women who wear it. Strength, culture, and celebrating women are important to their ethos and who they work with. The women that inspire the brand are the women surrounding them.

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Lady Gaga wears the Paris Georgia Heart Dress

Frisson Knits

Frisson Knits is a brand based in Aotearoa that sources local, natural, and sustainable mohair and wool yarns for their beautiful hand-made knits.
It so happens that New Zealand is one of the few countries in the world where we can trace wool yarns.

Frisson keeps it simple with kid mohair wool as its key ingredient. Mohair is an ancient textile that comes from the angora goat. The soft, durable lightweight fibre creates articles of knitwear that is silky to the touch, comfy and not scratchy like so many woolly jumpers on the market. This Isabella cardigan in mint is so gorgeous. Paired back with jeans and a tee, or dressed up over a silk slip fress. So versatile, I’m in love.

Frisson Knits works close to the source, and they keep their spinning and dyeing processes transparent. New Zealand also has a world-leading reputation in the production of lamb's wool and kid mohair, which this brand cleverly makes use of.

Every winter, my feed is clogged with aesthetically styled Frisson Sweaters, which therefore drains my bank account for my ever-increasing mohair investments. Mother and daughter duo Belinda and Charlotte Jennings are the creative minds behind the knitwear label.

Celebrity stylist Maeve Reily has been named responsible for her incredible influence on the way women dress today. Her mint green pick from Frisson’s Collection for Hailey Beiber is no exception.

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Hailey Bieber in Frisson Knits

Trish Peng

Featured in Marie Claire and the Daily Mail, Trish Peng’s Custom-made bridal gowns and brand have garnered a global reputation for excellence in this area. As of 2014, Trish Peng's company has grown to include a flagship store in Auckland, New Zealand, as well as stockists around the world. Trish is your go-to for feminine elegance and sophistication. What’s special is that each garment is handcrafted in Auckland by a team of master tailors.

Her unique custom experience has set her apart from the saturation of bridal shops lining Beverly Hills. Actress Brittany Daniel had Trish Peng as the head designer for her stunning bridal gown.

Of course, it wouldn’t be Los Angeles without a sprinkling of celebrities. Of which she has a handful on her impressive list of clientele. Peng embodies the phrase "work hard, play hard." The designer works in her bridal showroom six days a week. Her spare time is spent sipping cocktails and mingling with the rich and famous. Her Los Angeles showroom is shared with the renowned Beverly Hills Panache Bridal, securing a steady stream of upcoming brides looking for the most exquisite gown for their special day.

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Trish Peng Bridal Collection

Meadowlark

Meadowlark is jewellery designed for love, art, nature, intimacy and expression. Founded by two restless minds, Claire Hammon and Greg Fromont (a husband and wife duo), who are the entwined imaginations behind everything Meadowlark.
Most Meadowlark pieces are handcrafted and dreamed up in New Zealand by their talented team. There has been an undeniable rise in popularity for Meadowlark Jewellery since its inception. Artists and celebrities across the globe have further endorsed this incredible brand such as Bella Hadid, Kate Moss, Rihanna, FKA Twigs, Florence Welch, Grimes, Alicia Keys, and Zoe Kravitz - highly acclaimed list of supreme superstars.


“When it comes to jewellery, the selection suddenly becomes more personal, presumably
because it sits with us for much longer than a pair of pants. A highly polished necklace can last for years. An engagement ring is with us always.”

FKA Twigs wearing the Medium thorn hoop earrings and the henna chain ring.

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FKA Twigs wearing the Medium thorn hoop earrings and the henna chain ring

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