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Where do you go? Nevada & Nick from Okewa

By Martyn 18 Jul 2018

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Nevada & Nick
Photo credit: Grace Gemuhluoglu

Nevada and Nick Leckie are the Wellingtonians behind Okewa, a specialist brand of rainwear that achieves the previously-thought impossible: a stylish AF raincoat that actually keeps you dry. Created in response to Wellington's famously umbrella-unfriendly weather, Okewa's rainwear is 100% waterproof, light to wear and designed with inner city living in mind.

Working within an environmentally conscious business model is important to Nick and Nevada, and they’re taking it to a whole new level this month as they launch their new line of rainwear made from 100% recycled plastic bottles. Check out their Kickstarter campaign for the Recycled Line Capsule Collection and read on for more about the talented duo behind the raincoat you’ve been looking for all your life.

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Oriental Bay

We live in Oriental Bay on an overgrown, wild path on the hill overlooking the harbour. The expansiveness of living near the sea and looking out at an ever-changing view from our little flat is really special. 

Where abouts in Wellington do you live?

We live in Oriental Bay on an overgrown, wild path on the hill overlooking the harbour. The expansiveness of living near the sea and looking out at an ever-changing view from our little flat is really special. We love the little neighbourhood here and have great neighbours along our path. Probably the best thing about Oriental is that walk along the Parade – our connection to the city.  

Okewa feels very 'Wellington'  has living and working here shaped the brand?

Nevada: Wellington sparked everything for Okewa, really! We got started making raincoats because we really needed them ourselves; living in Oriental Bay without a car, I was working at the other end of the waterfront and walking into work rain or shine. The showerproof coat I had at the time wasn't up to the task. Wellington has become our perfect testing ground.

We feel that being so far away from traditional fashion centres like New York or London, say, helps us maintain a fresh and unique perspective (while this distance, of course, has its downsides too!). There's definitely a relatable down-to-earthiness Wellingtonians have, and this has definitely shaped how we think about our core customer base and what they need in a raincoat.

Wellington has a strong creative community of people just getting on and doing the cool things they love which is inspiring.

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ENA on Ghuznee Street

Who else is doing good work around town that you admire?

Wellington has a strong creative community of people just getting on and doing cool things they love which is inspiring. Nadya who runs ENA is doing a great job - she's curated a beautiful collection of brands and a lovely space. Kowtow really inspires us, how they're growing their brand super-globally on a solid ethical foundation. And Anna Ronberg at No16 brings in the best.

We work with some really talented creatives like Richard Ban at Wellington Studios. The stop-motion video we recently created to launch our Recycled Line was done with Rich and animator, Ahmad Habash, who is a complete magician with paper craft.

With a good raincoat you can always make it out of the house for a coffee run - where are your favourite spots?

Nick: My usual cabin fever coffee destination on a rainy day is a quick walk down the hill from our place to DeluxePoquito is a great spot, or the bar at Nikau on a busy Saturday morning.

Nevada: I’m becoming obsessed with tea. I recently bought a lot of oolong tea back with me from our recent travels in Taiwan. I love Cha on Courtenay Place for their huge tea selection and Taiwanese/Chinese teas.

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Nevada & Nick
Photo credit: Grace Gemuhluoglu

Waitangi Park is such an asset to the city, and it works hard for us too with the waterways filtering stormwater before it hits the harbour. Our waterfront is an excellent piece of urban design.

What are some of your favourite public spaces around the capital? 

Nick: Waitangi Park is such an asset to the city, and it works hard for us, too, with the waterways filtering storm water before it hits the harbour. Our waterfront is an excellent piece of urban design. I really like the refreshed Lombard Lane with the small park at one end outside of Pickle and Pie. There's so much more potential for transformative urban design projects like this around unloved parts of Te Aro. 

Nevada: Oriental Bay in the summertime is hard to go past - I love how crowded it gets!

Got a favourite section of the central public library?

Nevada: Fiction novels for me, for a total escape. I'm currently engrossed in 'All The Light We Cannot See'.

Nick: It's a toss-up between the biography corner and non-fiction business. I'm currently reading 'Creativity, Inc.' by the co-founder of Pixar – it's a fascinating look at how Pixar fosters the creative process.

 

Pre-orders for Okewa’s six-piece Recycled Line are now open on Kickstarter and through their website

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Okewa - 100% Recycled Capsule
Photo credit: Adam Bryce

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