NZFW 2021 reveals stellar line-up

Things are heating up for New Zealand Fashion Week with the full list of designers revealed for this years’ event. Featuring a fantastic mix of established designers and top emerging brands NZFW will once again deliver a schedule that is not to be missed.

Taking place from Monday, 23 August to Friday, 27 August at the iconic Aotea Square and Auckland Town Hall the line-up for NZFW 2021 has been worth the wait. Showing on-site in the Auckland Town Hall, Zambesi promises to bring its edgy, out-of-box design aesthetic and unmissable runway production to NZFW 21.

“NZFW is back for its 20th celebration and we at Zambesi are excited to be involved once again,” says Zambesi co-founder Elisabeth Findlay. “Anticipation is building as we prepare our Spring-Summer in-season collection show to be presented at the iconic Auckland Town Hall.”

A NZFW designer who has not missed a show in twenty years and a crowd favourite, Adrian Hailwood, will grace the runway with new and upcoming glamourous looks along with his signature style which perfectly balances glitz, glamour and Kiwi cool.

Kate Sylvester will be showing a new season of timeless and considered designs. Always finding the perfect balance between fusion, cool and creative, this year’s show is highly anticipated.

“We are excited to be showing at New Zealand Fashion Week this year and to be part of 20 years of this important event celebrating New Zealand fashion,” commented Sylvester.

Caitlin Crisp, known for backing the New Zealand industry by supporting local fabric and trimmings suppliers will take to the runway in the contemporary salon. Her range of ready to wear garments are elegant and fun with the majority of fabrics selected composed of natural fibres.

“I am incredibly excited to be in NZFW 21 showing my Season 5 collection. I’m vividly reminded of preparing for my first NZFW experience in the 2018 Grad Show and I still get goosebumps thinking about it,” says Crisp.

“The collection combines my beginnings in dance and costume with the best sellers of CC so far, finely tuned and given a boost of sophistication,” she says.

In another first, Cruz del Sur will take to the NZFW runway for the very first time. A high-end fashion brand founded by a New Zealand designer, MINXI, in 2020, the label specialises in children and adult fashion design, covering high-end and ready-to-wear apparel.

New Zealand’s premier footwear designer, Kathryn Wilson, will once again be showcasing the latest footwear trends. Having grown from a fledgling designer to becoming an influential businesswoman with a brand that is constantly in high demand, Wilson will be showing her Winter’22 and Summer’21 collections.

“We love to create memorable experiences for our customers to engage with our brands, catwalk shows are a great way of bringing our footwear to life with beautiful styling, up-lifting music and diverse models, and NZ Fashion Week is considered the pinnacle event for guests who love fashion and want to support local brands,” says Wilson.

This year a number of designers are using ethical practices and sustainable materials to produce their pieces.

The entirety of Kowtow’s collections are made from organic, renewable and bio-degradable cottons that are 100% Fairtrade certified. All of Kowtow’s cotton is unique to the brand as they design straight from the yarn. This year Kowtow is hosting a seminar, entitled ‘Single Use Planet’. The seminar will focus on themes around sustainable material and packaging innovation, waste minimisation and the hottest future fashion & beauty trends. Panellists include Kowtow founder Gosia Piatek, Deadly Ponies founder Liam Bowden and skincare entrepreneur Emma Lewisham with Noelle McCarthy MCing the event.

Known for being ethically responsible, Benjamin Alexander will feature at NZFW for the second time. Partnering with local and international artists and employing artisanal practices, the brand’s vision of luxury clothing is considerate of the effects on the future of design, and the planet.

This year NZFW will feature two Māori designers in solo shows.

Māori designer Campbell Luke, conceived by Bobby Luke will once again be on the runway. Using his strong kaupapa Māori ethos he works in aspects of his Māori heritage to his garments, making statements about the colonisation of Aotearoa and utilising his art background to champion his ideas.

Bringing his dramatic, theatrical and fierce individual style to the runway, Māori designer Kharl WiRepa, will showcase one of a kind evening wear, taking the modern fashionista into a wardrobe of timeless style.

In a celebration of diversity and intersection, the show by Kiwi-Korean designer and trans woman Cecilia Kang will be a collaboration of light, love, and nature-inspired couture alongside natural skincare brand, Nellie Tier. Kang’s garments will see flower motifs and nature patterns in “disruptive harmony” with animal prints – including zebra and wild cat – along with unique embellishments to bring colour and diversity.

From Lemon Tree Design combination of beautiful textures mixed with the season’s key looks, translated into wearable and coordinated pieces; French Freddie bringing woman beautiful garments that work for laid-back lunches and for bold boardroom meetings and Moke’s range of functional outwear, this year’s designer line-up will ensure that all styles, trends and cultures will be represented on the NZFW runway.

A wonderful launchpad for up-and-coming designers, this year NZFW features four new generation designers, Jakob Carter, Cylée, Society Apparel & Society Hats and a group of designers who will show under Nora Swann.

Rounding out the on-schedule designers for NZFW 2021 are Kneufermann, Miromoda, Stolen Girlfriends Club, Jockey, Havilah, Elusive Lingerie, White Silk Bridal Couture, Jaqueline-Anne, Wild & White Bridal and Bendon.

“This year’s line-up is a true reflection of the talent we have in New Zealand. We’re thrilled with the calibre of designers, buyers and brands who will be a part of our 20th Anniversary,” says Dame Pieter Stewart, NZFW founder and managing director.

“It’s also wonderful to see so many designers actively supporting our call to address pertinent issues such as diversity, inclusion and sustainability,” she says. “We’re passionate about playing a leading role in addressing social issues and encouraging the fashion industry to improve its social impact,” she says.

“And as always, New Zealand Fashion Week provides a unique environment that allows local designers to shine, both creatively and in business, building and supporting an innovative and forward-thinking fashion community.”

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