Kate Sylvester

The darling of design: Q&A with Kate Sylvester

Kate Sylvester is an iconic New Zealand designer whose collections have been described as embodying “intelligence, witty irreverence, sophistication and modern femininity”, resulting in designs which are all at once eccentric, beautiful and intelligent.


Kate Sylvester


Metropol catches up with the designer ahead of her role as part of the prestigious judging panel for the iD International Emerging Designer Awards in Dunedin.


How did you make your commercial start?
The idea began when my partner Wayne and I were living in Paris. We wanted to return to New Zealand and start something of our own and we opened our first store on Auckland’s Kitchener Street in 1993. Making clothes has always been my passion so I’m incredibly lucky that I have been able to do what I love every day.


How would you describe your design philosophy?
I aim to create timeless classics that will last a lifetime not a season.


What are you most looking forward to about joining this year’s prestigious judging panel for the iD International Emerging Designer Awards?
It is very exciting to celebrate emerging local talent and see the strength of the future of our industry.


It’s an industry that is said to take no prisoners. Why do you think New Zealand has connected so strongly with what you do?
I’m constantly looking for inspiration whether that is from art, movies, books, music – all the things I love. New Zealand is a constant stimulus; it’s a beautiful place with beautiful people and an endless source of creativity.


How have you been able to stay so current and create a brand with longevity?
A willingness to evolve, staying honest and true to my aesthetic, supporting long lasting relationships with our incredible local fashion community.


What does 2019 have in store for you?
We are looking to introduce a range of new product lines to the brand, plus have some exciting new store developments in the works for later this year.



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