Top local fashion designers
Shop some of New Zealand's top designers in boutiques and flagships stores dotted around Wellington's compact city centre.
Local label Okewa has achieved the near impossible: a stylish and elegant raincoat. Completely waterproof and sustainably sourced, Okewa’s coats are light to wear and designed with inner-city living in mind. Their coats come in a range of classic cuts and colours that range from bold to demure that can be browsed and bought online from their website.
Founded by a Wellingtonian couple, Nevada and Nick Leckie, who both take environmental sustainability seriously; they have a line of rainwear that’s made from 100% recycled plastic bottles.
29 College Street, Te Aro, Wellington
Fitting for a label inspired by craftsmanship that began right here in Wellington, the Kowtow flagship store is a masterpiece of natural, locally-sourced and sustainable materials. It’s the perfect backdrop for browsing Kowtow’s seasonal collections, and the kind of space you’ll want to linger in. Inspired by architecture and street style, Kowtow’s clothes are designed to move freely with their wearers.
Wellington-based Kowtow founder, Gosia Piatek, is involved with every aspect of the production of clothing by her avant-garde label, dedicated to fairtrade and organic cotton and sustainable, ethical production. Gosia believes consumer choices should have positive consequences and impact on the world around us.
27 Ghuznee Street, Te Aro, Wellington
You could say that Wellington label twenty-seven names has acquired something of a cult-like following. Their clothing is classically practical and simple to wear yet has an element of whimsy with covetable prints and bold colours.
Designers (and best friends) Anjali Stewart and Rachel Stewart put a strong focus on sustainability and keeping it local – their line is designed and made in Wellington using natural fabrics. Visit their beautiful store on Ghuznee Street to check out the entire seasonal range.
1/115 Victoria Street, Te Aro, Wellington
Wilson Trollope is the fashion label of Wellington designer, Annabelle Wilson. Launched winter 2013, the label is named after Annabelle’s grandmothers, who were both stylish and talented dressmakers themselves and taught her their craft.
Wilson Trollope has an understated polished elegance with classic, uncomplicated silhouettes and engaging prints.
Wilson Trollope’s flagship store on Victoria Street is the perfect place to delve into the designer’s seasonal collections.
21 Ghuznee Street, Te Aro, Wellington
Loved local menswear label Mandatory’s combined retail and workshop space offers a unique shopping experience. From t-shirts to suits, Mandatory make affordable custom pieces that will become lasting favourites in your wardrobe. The small-scale and local nature of the label means the team can offer custom fit and tailoring, personal stying, wedding suits, resortwear, limited edition designs and capsule collections alongside their main range. Mandatory’s clothing is made with the finest quality cloth and by skilled manufacturers, meaning the garments are made to last (great news for the reluctant shopper!)
Now or Never
30 Ghuznee Street, Te Aro, Wellington
Now or Never is a local independent lingerie label that’s designed and made in Wellington by two friends, Emma Lodge and Olivia Lacey. Using best-quality silk and subtle but flattering designs, their pieces feeling incredibly luxurious and will become lasting favourites in your wardrobe.
In September 2020, Now or Never launched a new collection of silk slips focused on all things local. The material is bought from The Fabric Store on Garrett Street, the garments are made in Wellington and the instead of professional models they asked locals to the modelling including DJ Amy Jean,French White and writer Nina Katungi.
99 Willis Street, Te Aro, Wellington
This local organic underwear label is helping the refugee community from the bottom up. Nisa is a socially-minded underwear label that employs women from refugee backgrounds to make their underwear. Made used certified organic cotton, Nisa’s products are soft and come in a variety of colours and styles for both men and women.
Nisa has a flagship store and studio on Willis Street which customers can check out the range of bras, undies, t-shirt, singlets and socks and watch as they are lovingly produced.
11 Ghuznee Street, Te Aro, Wellington
Lucilla Gray makes incredibly covetable jewellery and clothing that have been worn at the Oscars. Since launching her eponymous label in 2014, Lucilla Gray has been a nominee for the International Woolmark prize, featured in top fashion publications such as Vogue, Harper's Bazaar and i-D magazine. With a strong, intelligent aesthetic that focuses on structural silhouettes, Lucilla Gray’s piece have a timeless quality. You’ll find pieces by this sought-after Wellington-based designer at The Service Depot.
16 Lombard Street, Te Aro, Wellington
Local Wellington designer Deryn Schmidt is known for her exquisite tailoring and impeccable finish. Applying a modern interpretation to classic shapes, her pieces are timeless investments for your wardrobe. All garments are locally-designed and proudly 100% New Zealand-made. Deryn’s flagship store on Jackson Street also doubles as a workroom so you will often find her designing or cutting the latest styles there or visit her second store on Lombard Laneway.
Not For You Clothing
34 Manners Street, Te Aro, Wellington
Jerome Taylor, the owner and designer behind Not For You clothing label, is the first to acknowledge that his fashion isn't for everyone – but he's totally fine with that. The name came about after someone tried on one of his pieces and said, 'It's not for me'. An ex-roofer, Jerome has always been interested in art and had his start in fashion selling his screen printed t-shirts around Wellington out of his Mitsubishi Mirage.
Jerome takes his inspiration for his garments and collections from art and life around him; Not For you debuted at New Zealand Fashion week in 2017 with a thoughtful collection that explored homelessness (followed up with an appearance at Vancouver Fashion Week in 2018). Not For You now has a permanent home on Manners Street showcasing their collections plus a curated range of garments by upcoming local designers.
85 Victoria Street, Te Aro, Wellington
If Wellington has an ‘it’ bag, it would most certainly be made by Yu Mei. Founded by Wellingtonian Jessie Wong, Yu Mei create leather bags and accessories that are functional with an understated luxury that is made in the heart of Wellington.
Yu Mei’s flagship store on Victoria Street has a clean and minimalistic design and is a stunning place to experience Yu Mei’s often-updated collection of leather goods, which ranges from bags to wallets and accessories. Each Yu Mei design is made from 100% South Island, New Zealand farmed and tanned deer nappa which makes for an object that’s unbelievably soft and develops a lovely patina with age.
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