Fashion for a cure

Breast Cancer Cure’s fashion show at Christchurch’s Majestic on 20 June will showcase garments from some of New Zealand’s most iconic fashion houses. Metropol’s Deputy Editor Nina Tucker caught up with six of the incredible and influential designers behind some of the labels.

With the recent announcement that transitions New Zealand Fashion Week Kahuria to a biennial event, the need to keep in-person fashion shows like these alive has never felt more real. They foster connection, unity, joy, and passion, and most importantly, in the case of Breast Cancer Cure, raise vital funds to continue research.

New Zealand has the 7th highest incidence of breast cancer in the world, and about two women a day die from the disease. Breast Cancer Cure has raised more than $11 million, with more than $1 million of that raised through its Tees for a Cure campaign.

According to the designers, the atmosphere at a Breast Cancer Cure show is energetic, fabulous, positive, generous, hectic, and filled with laughs. Multiple times a year, they put down their sketchbooks and get on the road with a runway-ready collection. Presenting their current designs, and sometimes auctioning them off on the night, the commitment is large, and it is one they will keep making.Tickets are available via the website

Kelly Coe, Augustine
“My mother is a breast cancer survivor, so anything we can do to raise awareness is important to me,” says Kelly Coe, the designer at Augustine. To her, energy at each show is always happy and fun. Everyone in attendance is there for a great time, excited to be “treated to such a variety of New Zealand fashion.” Her clothes add to that excitement. Kelly says her one aim with Augustine is to “create clothes that add colour to the world and make women feel confident and empowered”.









Jenny Joblin, Federation
Jenny Joblin, who lost her mother to breast cancer at 17, shows at every single show she can. She designs for Federation, explaining that backstage at a show is always hectic, as each designer sends clothes down the runway. “The difference with doing it for Breast Cancer Cure is that everyone is there for the cause. You know that the other designers also share a passion for the charity. So many people are giving their time and energy to the event and there is a special kindness.” For Jenny, the aim is simply to help the cause, although she embraces every opportunity to style and showcase current collections. “Using a tool like us as designers, and a fashion show, means that people are donating while having a great experience.”









Deborah Caldwell, STORM
“Breast Cancer Cure shows are crucial because they serve as a powerful platform to raise both funds and awareness for breast cancer research. Fashion has a unique ability to captivate and engage a wide audience, making it an ideal medium for spreading such an important message,” Deborah Caldwell of STORM explains. Deborah says involvement with the shows is a contribution to the cause. She started STORM to foster confidence and powerful fashion choices. At each show, Deborah extends this mission by “showcasing how strong women are”.










Margarita Robertson, NOM*d
NOM*d’s Margarita Robertson says a Breast Cancer Cure show is unforgettably enjoyable for all involved, a social night out contributing to the cause. The feeling of playing a part in that is like no other. “Having witnessed the audience and the enthusiasm for the event, the auctions that are hotly contested and the funds that are raised for such an important and common disease is so rewarding as a participant,” Margarita says.









Vicki Taylor, taylor
Vicki Taylor of taylor loves seeing where the money raised goes, and hearing the progress of researchers at different shows. “Luckily, you don’t need a science degree to understand.” Each show offers insight into the taylor woman, to leave the audience inspired and empowered. “We do it for our clients, our mothers, daughters, and team members.” Each show is all about unity. “What makes a Breast Cancer Cure show unique is the group of New Zealand designers, with different aesthetics and collections, all working together for one cause,” Vicki explains. Despite an extremely competitive industry, Vicki explains that for these shows, they all come together. “You often have the designers themselves behind the scenes dressing their models and, in the breaks, chatting and sharing this common goal.”








Kathryn Wilson, Kathryn Wilson and Miss Wilson
Celebrating collections on the runway lets customers make joyful memories with her brand, says Kathryn Wilson of her namesake label. Functional and comfortable, yet elegant and glamorous, her footwear reflects those feelings. Putting together the show is a big task, yet the outcome is always worth it. “The production involves months of planning and preparation from the team at BCC, everything from staging, lighting, music, model casting, seating plans, fittings, styling. I enjoy being involved and find the process energizing and exciting to help out where I can,” she says. From front-of-house to the backstage excitement of models, dressings, and the hair and makeup frenzy, every show is buzzing. “The designers are proud to be part of such a high calibre presentation.”



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