Each fortnight at Metropol we’re privileged to showcase the new and noteworthy. On our pages, across cuisine, fashion, home, beauty, health, hospitality, architecture, motoring, events and travel we aim to bring a definitive collection of what’s worth knowing about in Canterbury and the South Island.
And in this issue, we start as we mean to go on: With a stunning front cover relating to an exciting addition to the city.
It is a shot from one of New Zealand’s most highly regarded designer’s latest collections, because that designer, Juliette Hogan, has just opened her first South Island store at The Crossing.
She speaks with our assistant editor, Jess Murray, about why she chose Christchurch (during a global pandemic), and the importance of supporting local.
Further into the magazine, we cover an innovative new sport gaining traction globally and running in the red zone – drone racing.
Then, in our Cuisine section, we showcase an old favourite making a new return. Viaduct was a fixture on Oxford Terrace’s The Strip and its delicious multi-dimensional menu, large sunny balcony and exhilarating nightlife is now reimagined on The Terrace.
These physical additions are not the only newcomers to the city, though. Because as Mayor Lianne Dalziel outlines in her monthly column on page 66 – we’re attracting some new residents, too.
The appeal of Christchurch has long been known to those of us lucky enough to call it home, so there is little surprise it’s catching on, really.
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.”
Sustainability; everyone’s talking about it, but few are doing something about it. Metropol caught up with fashion designer Maggie Marilyn and head of sustainable beauty brand Ethique, Brianne West about paying much more than lip service to the most pressing conversation of the century.
The subject of sustainability has been increasing in intensity over the past three years, Maggie says, but she believes there’s a lot of talk and not a lot of action.
“In our industry, fashion apparel, there’s no standard to hold you accountable to what you’re saying that you’re doing,” she says.
“So it’s very easy to say you’re sustainably conscious or that you’re transparent or that you use sustainably conscious fabrics, but what does that really mean?”
Having grown up on a farm in the Bay of Islands, she has long been environmentally aware, but hadn’t connected the dots to the fashion industry.
“It wasn’t until I got to university where this really unglamorous curtain was pulled back on the industry and I didn’t like what I saw behind it,” she says.
She spent the next four years learning everything she could about how to build a sustainable fashion brand and what that looked like.
“I feel lucky that we launched in a time when sustainability was gradually growing momentum, but I still think there’s a lot of greenwashing versus actual proper work being done,”
Catching up ahead of the pair joining designer Juliette Hogan and Kowtow’s Emma Wallace as part of a sustainability panel hosted by Ballantynes pre-lockdown, the sisterhood of sustainability really got down to the heart of what it means to run environmentally-centric fashion and beauty brands.
Biologist Brianne West says sustainability in business is a must-have.
“If you don’t have some kind of sustainability standard, most millennials and bugger all Gen Zs will shop with you. So if you don’t have something sustainable – and unfortunately often it’s fake – then you don’t get a look in.
“Sustainability has gone beyond ‘cool’. Now it’s kind of a non-negotiable.”
If the amount of consumer momentum Greta Thunberg has managed to create on a global stage, was created around a brand, the business would have no choice but to adapt.
So it’s consumers that need to take responsibility for affecting change, by demanding transparency and by demanding fair trade.
“And consumers are already doing it, they just need to do it more and faster!” she says.
For fashion, that means shopping smarter.
“The fashion industry is the second greatest emitter of fossil fuels,” Brianne points out. “Everyone goes on about air travel… stop buying clothes!”
And even if the sentiment seems detrimental to her own luxury fashion label, Maggie not only agrees with it, but it forms the basis of the Maggie Marilyn brand philosophy – one which sees slow fashion as the way of the future.
“It’s not just about being in business to sell Maggie Marilyn clothes, but to change the conversation and, in turn, change our industry.”
With unsustainable options becoming cheaper than ever before, it’s about educating consumers about buying less, but buying well, with the value of re-sale and product lifespan making up the difference in price point.
“It’s not actually the people who can’t afford designer clothing that’s the issue,” Maggie says.
“It’s the girl who goes to H&M and Zara and gets a new dress every Friday night, who could actually afford to buy a more consciously made product; it’s the consumer that’s the issue.
“It’s about changing a whole mindset of mass consumption that we’ve just been in for the last 40 years. We’re not going to unwind the situation in five minutes and that’s something I have to remind myself of because I’m incredibly impatient!”
Over four years in business, the goal post has shifted for Maggie from what she thought a sustainably conscious brand would look like to where the label is now.
What she thought would be all about building a transparent supply chain, using fabrics that had the least negative environmental impact, and supporting and building a community of manufacturing in New Zealand, has expanded to measuring carbon emissions, to educating customers on garment care and after-life.
“Fifty percent of the impact clothing has from an environmental perspective is actually done after the customer buys it, so how they care for their clothes and what happens to that clothing once they’ve fallen out of love with it.”
You’ll find garment care instructions on the brand’s website, detailing how best to look after your beloved pieces.
“Start by getting rid of your tumble drier! That’s a way to ruin absolutely everything that you own. Gentle machine-washing clothes, hanging them in the sun… all those things can make a huge difference. Sometimes it’s small, incremental changes that can make the biggest difference.”
Maggie’s new line, launched at the end of last year, is intended to become fully circular in time.
“It’s designed to have a take-back scheme whereby the fabrics can be shredded down and repurposed into new fabrics and then into new garments, so eventually in our Utopian model of a brand, we wont use any virgin resources.”
Ethique’s products are already completely circular.
They are fully biodegradable, so if a packaged bar fell out the bathroom window, both the product and packaging would rapidly break down into something that plants can use to regrow.
Although naked products would be superior, retailers won’t allow naked stock, so Brianne has the next best thing – packaging made in New Zealand from sustainably-sourced stock.
“For every tree they cut down, they plant two,” she says. “
Ethique is also carbon neutral, double offsetting any travel.
They’re working towards sea-freighting everything in the future, along with opening up warehouses in the UK, Australia and US to minimise the affects of global distribution.
She’s passionate about her fair trade and charitable partnerships, with the company donating 20 percent of its profits to charity every year; a figure that’s soon to double.
There are also some exciting carbon emissions plans Brianne is looking forward to announcing soon.
Meanwhile a circular business is also in sight for Maggie.
“It’s definitely our Northern Star to be a fully circular business and it’s not going to happen in five minutes; there are huge complexities to doing that in our main line and we are figuring it out with this new line we launched last year.
“Circularity is really key to being a fully sustainable brand and ultimately have a regenerative impact, so that’s the goal.”
Leonardo da Vinci once described simplicity as “the ultimate sophistication”. It’s an apt description of Juliette Hogan’s style statement.
A label which is characterised by strong, pared-back, minimalist design, her pieces are a powerful combination of unfussy femininity. This is a designer who is all about timeless quality.
Metropol talks to Juliette about her sartorial inspirations and her latest collection.
Can you tell us how your career began?
Mum taught me to sew from a very early age, but I never had aspirations to be a fashion designer. I studied Textiles at Massey University in Wellington and went on to win the Dare to Be competition to study at Parson’s School of Design in New York. This time really shaped who I was as a designer and it was only then that I decided I was going to come back to New Zealand to start my own label.
The fashion industry has been said to not take any prisoners, why do you think you’ve been such a success?
Perseverance and clarity. I have had always had a very clear idea of my design sense and clarity about where I’ve wanted to go.
How do you create designs which resonate so strongly with New Zealand women?
Opening stores has given me amazing insight into what women want to wear. I have always been a selfish designer however, having direct contact with the wonderful people who engage with my brand gives me invaluable insight. I am in business to make women feel good about themselves.
Who are some of your biggest fashion inspirations?
I can never succinctly answer this question as I don’t look to celebrities or other designers for inspiration. Inspiration comes from more abstract places for me such as beautiful open landscapes, subtle movement in a silk or dappled shadow formations.
What’s the most fulfilling part of what you do?
Seeing women in my designs, working with my amazing team and getting to do what I love every day.
What are some of the new looks and styles which we can expect to see coming through in the coming seasons?
AW18 Undertone is such a beautiful rich collection and my stand out piece is the Surround Coat in Talc; it completely envelopes without overwhelming you. I also love the rich merlot and deep reds that run through the collection.