Auckland’s Town Hall and Aotea Square may not have been transformed into the ultimate runway this year – not yet anyway - but that won’t stop New Zealand Fashion Week from celebrating 20 years.

From humble beginnings two decades ago it has become an iconic event in Tāmaki Makaurau, launching the careers of some of New Zealand’s most talented designers and other fashion creatives, and turning homegrown talent into international names.

Some of these stories of masterpieces, behind-the-scenes madness and the occasional mishaps are masterfully told through the lens of a 20-minute video that captures the essence of New Zealand Fashion Week.

The video tells the story of how Auckland has matured as a region and a fashion destination over the past 20 years.

Co-ordinated by FashioNZ with the support of Auckland Unlimited, the video transports the audience to 2001 when Auckland’s fashion epicentre was the iconic High Street and the region was still discovering itself as a creative destination.    

Today Tāmaki Makaurau holds its own when it comes to setting the trend, with fashion precincts from Commercial Bay on the city’s waterfront to Britomart, home to the world’s top labels. Further afield is Ponsonby Road for those whose sense of style is a little edgy and Newmarket, that is also home to Westfield’s shopping flagship.

Richard Clarke, Head of Major and Business Events at Auckland Unlimited said the long-standing association with New Zealand Fashion Week highlights what this event means for Auckland.

“We could argue that Auckland as a city has evolved and matured during this time into the truly international destination that it is today,” Clarke said.

“Tāmaki Makaurau comes alive during Fashion Week and while it hasn’t gone ahead as originally planned, we are proud to celebrate an event that has supported our creative industries and provided opportunities for emerging talent from designers to make-up artists to stylists, and more.

“We hope that the event will still be able to go ahead as the wonderful showcase of New Zealand fashion that is showcased in this video celebrating the 20-year history of the event,” he added.

New Zealand Fashion Week managing director, Dame Pieter Stewart said: “After carefully recording and cataloguing around 24 hours of footage with top directors and editors every year for the last 19 years, it was hard to decide what parts or shows stood out.”

“Every show and every designer holds equal weight on our platform and the carefully chosen moments used to illustrate comments from the interviews only show a tiny portion of the amazing show footage and other moments we have archived”

“We look forward to bringing the past 20 years of NZFW to life in our Retrospective Show when the event can be rescheduled,” she added.

Director Evelyn Ebrey said the team wanted the video to take the audience on the journey.

“Narrowing down the list of people to interview was definitely a challenge as there has been hundreds, if not thousands, of people involved over the years including designers, models, creative teams and producers,” Ebrey said.

“We wanted to tell the story of Fashion Week through the voices of the people who were there from the beginning from founder Dame Pieter Stewart to those designers who took part over the years such as Kathryn Wilson and Marc Moore, and through to the more recent additions like model Isabella Moore and designer Bobby Luke, all of whom have had an impact on the event. Then there’s all the talented creatives like Mana Dave, Kiekie Stanners and Sammy Salsa who have helped bring the designers’ vision to life,” she added.

New Zealand Fashion Week organisers are currently exploring alternative dates to host the event when alert levels allow.


About the video and creators

To view the video, click HERE.

It was filmed before Auckland and New Zealand went into the latest lockdown

It features some of New Zealand’s most well-known and emerging labels, stylists and creative experts – and they share more than just fashion tips

It was filmed over 13 days at 21 locations across Auckland

FashioNZ is an iconic fashion go-to website and supporter of small businesses