Strait for Christchurch
Her eponymous brand is one of New Zealand’s most recognisable fashion labels, and has long been inspired by the landscapes of the south. Now Juliette Hogan has put down roots here with a new store The Crossing. Metropol catches up with the designer about bridging the Cook Strait, where her love story with our city started, and navigating an industry in flux.
What made you choose Christchurch to open up your first store in the South Island?
“The Juliette Hogan brand has always had a strong affinity to the textures and palette of the South Island landscape, and it has been a longstanding dream location for a store. The more we travelled looking for the right location, the more perfect Christchurch felt. I have to admit, it’s my favourite store so far. I absolutely love the curved oak wall, to me it feels so welcoming and protective, and hope this is how our customers respond to it as well.”
You’re a business owner and a mum – which must be busy enough without lockdowns thrown in the mix! What’s your philosophy or approach to making sure you have the time, space and energy you need and want to balance your business and family lives?
“My life is what I have made it and I feel so fortunate that I get to do what I love. For me that means being challenged and busy as a mother, partner, and business owner. I do work hard to keep a balance making time for family, work, and myself. I walk every morning; podcasts keep me learning and motivated and good books and travel give me both escape and creative inspiration.”
The pandemic has fuelled the movement to support local. You manufacture almost all your garments locally, why is it important for you to be New Zealand made, and why should Kiwis get behind this?
“At Juliette Hogan, our clothes are predominantly NZ made (97 percent). I’m proud to be part of Mindful Fashion NZ. Co-founded by Emily Miller-Sharma of Ruby and Kate Sylvester in 2018. We are working together on a number of initiatives to help create a thriving and sustainable future for Made in NZ clothing including developing a meaningful garment manufacturing apprenticeship programme to fulfil skill shortages and create more jobs within our clothing industry.”
Can you please tell us how the last 12 months has impacted the Juliette Hogan brand, and how this is reflected in your latest designs?
“2020 certainly presented us with some extraordinary challenges, but the surprising outcome for me has been the genuinely rewarding learning and growth opportunities that the year has provided. In the 17 years since I launched Juliette Hogan, I have never had such a strong impetus or the opportunity to really step back and make big decisions on where we wanted this business and brand to be, and how we were going to evolve to get there. Reflecting the timeless and enduring design aesthetic of Juliette Hogan, 2021 sees a new approach forgoing the constraints of traditional seasons and what is yet to come. In addition to reworking our seasonal calendar, we also launched our JH Lounge collection in June 2020. This collection had been in development for some time; however, the timing was really perfect to launch to market.”
So, looking forward now. What does 2021 have in store for you, and the Juliette Hogan brand?
“We have lots of exciting projects in the pipeline including new product lines and working closely with our wonderful brand partners Amisfield, Audi & Bobbi Brown on exciting events and experiences. We are looking forward to being more connected to the South Island with the new store to have a deeper understanding of what our South Island customers need. Personally, I’m looking forward to spending time with my family exploring our beautiful country.”