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Darth Vader to get first glimpse of new locally made uniforms

8 May 2019

Finding inspiration for new Venues Wellington staff uniforms did not involve the dark side but the locally designed and made outfits will be unveiled at the NZSO’s Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back concert on Sunday.

New Uniforms

The 450 new uniforms were inspired by and feature some of the city’s great icons such as Cuba Mall’s Bucket Fountain and the Pyramid (representing the North and South islands and Cook Strait) at Civic Square.

They will be worn by Venues Wellington staff at the six venues it manages on behalf of the city including the TSB Arena, the Michael Fowler Centre, and the Opera House.

Designed in Wellington by Twenty-seven names, the pattern for the shirts was made by Sharon Bird at Red Tulip Design on Vivian St, graded in Morrinsville by Pattern Potentials and cut in Auckland by Cutting Services.

The garments were then sewn and finished in Wellington with the help of Iona Woolgrove at Umsiko and her ‘outworkers’ – a collection of women who work from their own homes.

A second casual shirt option, for more relaxed events such as gigs at the TSB Arena, were supplied by local ethical company Little Yellow Bird with a print designed by Twenty-seven names.

WREDA General Manager Warrick Dent says a decision was made early on to utilise local talent to make uniforms that are modern, identifiable, durable and cater to the situations hosts face on a regular basis.

“What is highly unusual is most uniforms, even those designed in New Zealand, are often made offshore. We wanted to break that mould.

“Keeping things as local as possible was good for home-grown businesses. It even allowed us to forgo packaging and wheel the new uniforms on clothes racks from Ghuznee St to the Michael Fowler Centre to be presented to Venues hosts via a mini-fashion show – where the response was overwhelmingly positive.”

Twenty-seven names co-owner Rachel Easting says making ethical, sustainable choices is at the heart of their business making beautiful clothing.