Seven Must-Follow Women on the Front Lines of New Zealand Fashion Week

Before the weeks-long tour de fashion cities — New York, London, Paris, Milan — that make up “Fashion Month” kicks off in September comes the lesser-known New Zealand Fashion Week. Initially an industry-facing trade show, NZFW has evolved in recent years to a vibrant hotbed of local as well as international talent showcasing their collections to thousands of fashion-focused delegates and style-savvy attendees. (Including us this week! Follow along on Instagram for all the fun.)

In celebration of this season’s NZFW, we want to introduce you to seven badass kiwis running the scene. From a baker to an illustrator, these ladies are killing it creatively while exposing just how good New Zealand style is. Get ready for your girl crushes to begin.  

 

CAITLAN MITCHELL, PHOTOGRAPHER AND EDITOR

Caitlin Mitchell was born into the NZ fashion scene, literally: Her parents began one of New Zealand’s first fashion magazines, NZ Apparel, back in 1969. Caitlin’s teen years led to her modeling, eventually inspiring her to try her hand at the other side of the camera as a photographer. A graduate of Whitcliffe College of Arts and Design with degrees in fine arts and business, Caitlin now runs the magazine her parents founded with her siblings while continuing to shoot fashion editorials, musicians, scenery and more. Steeped in fashion from birth, Caitlin has naturally developed her own signature style, incorporating pom pom statement heels, chunky oversized cardigans and the cutest berets, making her an NZ must-follow (especially during fashion week!).

Follow @caitlanmitchell

 

MARY MAGUET, MODEL

In her own words, Mary Maguet is an “int’l model by day, and a goofball by night.” Born in Kenya, Mary came to New Zealand when she was two years old. She was scouted as a model on a Sunday morning at her church and has quickly become one of the most sought-after local models. She is a NZFW runway vet and has modelled for many notable names such as Karen Walker and Lonely Lingerie. To top it off, she is a total sweetheart and has amazing style. Follow Mary strutting her stuff in not just New Zealand but New York, Milan, Hawaii, you name it.

Follow @pinkishlymojotastic

 

FRANCA CHRISTINA, CERAMICIST

We predict this style queen-ceramicist is going to blow up in no time. Based in Auckland, Franca works on her exploratory project of beautiful ceramic objects. From geometric vases to a unique cheese platter and mug duo, her pieces are the perfect home additions. Just like us, she is a huge fan of emerging designers. Just head over to her Instagram feed where you will spot Paloma Wool pants, a Kowtow striped jumpsuit, Suzanne Rae’s to-die-for white pumps, and so much more. We highly suggest you take a peek and steal some style inspiration.

Follow @franca_christina

 

HARRIET + CARTER WERE, PHOTOGRAPHER/KNITTER + BAKER

Meet New Zealand’s coolest twin sisters, Harriet and Carter Were. Both women are creatively-charged, expressed in distinctly different mediums. Harriet is a dual photographer and a knitter; She shoots editorials, photo series, interiors, and a does a portrait project called ‘Lonely Girls’ for Lonely Lingerie as well as knitting texturally-complex clothes and accessories. Carter is a baker known locally for her organic sprouted bread —a recipe that took her two years to perfect! — and seeded sourdough, which she sells through her company Were Bros. Each gal flaunts a compelling Instagram feed: Harriet’s full of lush photography and images of her knit work, and Carter’s an artistic homage to beautiful food. Consider them NZ’s Mary-Kate and Ashley.

Follow @harrywere + @werebros

 

KELLY THOMPSON, ILLUSTRATOR

Kelly Thompson came into illustration by way of fashion photography, inspired by the models she shot. With a feminine and delicate style, Kelly’s illustrations quickly gained an online following and she now works as full-time freelance artist, speaks at creative events, is the founding director of creative consultancy and illustration agency Maker’s Mgmt, and is constantly collaborating with fashion, beauty and lifestyle brands. With 23K IG followers and counting, her posts are the perfect mix of OOTD shots, illustrations, and creative inspiration.

Follow @kellythompsoncreative

 

GEORGIA PRATT, MODEL

We may be slightly obsessed with Georgia Pratt’s dreamy style and scruffy dog, Vito Valentino. Trained in fashion design, Georgia was scouted from the shores of New Zealand back in 2012 and has since emerged as a sought-after model. The Auckland-born beauty has walked the runway for Christian Siriano and Tome, starred in Lane Bryant’s Plus Is Equal campaign, and was named alongside Candice Huffine and Katy Smye as the “Models Out to Change Plus-Size Fashion” by Vogue. It’s safe to say, Georgia won’t be slowing down anytime soon. Head over to her feed for refreshing snaps of beauty, fashion and everyday life.

Follow @jojacalled

Get To Know Six Of Seattle’s Coolest Creatives

Between the Puget Sound and Lake Washington lies a city of distinct neighborhoods and urban districts that thrive with industrial, commercial and cultural activity around the clock. This bustling city is overflowing with creatives, makers, and explorers, and we want you to get to know six of our favorite. In the simplest terms, our Seattleite squad includes a photographer, restaurant owner, designer, toy collector, hair stylist, and vintage store owner. But, of course, they are all so much more. Get ready to meet some of the coolest creatives we know, find out why they love to call Seattle home, and get the lowdown on their expert city tips.

CHRISTINA HICKS, PHOTOGRAPHER

Art director and photographer Christina Hicks lives in Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood with her boyfriend Ryan — also a multi-disciplinary creative — and their two year old rescue dog, Nori (a must-follow on Instagram). Hicks creates content in the fields of design, fashion, travel and technology with work that is both commercially strategic as well as artful.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT LIVING IN SEATTLE? I love the freedom of living in a growing city with so many amenities, yet being within a short drive of so many beautiful natural environments: the Pacific ocean, the Puget Sound, two major mountain ranges, an archipelago of islands, national parks, forests, and deserts, to name a few.

WHAT’S THE CREATIVITY COMMUNITY LIKE? The creative community here is definitely close knit — I think Seattle’s geographic location up in the corner of the country contributes to a sense of pragmatism and camaraderie.

I love that there’s an undercurrent of go-getters that gravitate towards one another, encouraging and supporting each other as both friends and creative colleagues. And with the more recent tech boom, I feel as though the creative community is coming together even more strongly as a means of survival in a quickly changing city that could easily displace artists and small businesses.

DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE PLACE IN SEATTLE TO PHOTOGRAPH? I love the Bloedel Reserve on Bainbridge Island- it’s an inspiring place to walk and clear your head, and the impeccably kept grounds offer an endlessly changing backdrop of colors and textures.

Follow @xt_marie

 

MICHELE TANSEY, HOME GOODS STORE OWNER

Michele Tansey co-owns a vintage rug and furniture shop called Homestead Seattle as well as Plant Shop Seattle (you can imagine what they sell) with her partner Ryan. In their spare time, the couple has been renovating and restoring their 1903 house over the course of seven years. They run an Airbnb out of the home, and it is one of the most beautiful places to stay when in the city.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT LIVING IN SEATTLE? I’m from Washington state but grew up in the midwest, and I always felt like I just needed to get back to Seattle. It’s beautiful here even when it’s cold and rainy because it stays so lush and green. If the green can carry you through the sunless winter, the summer here is just perfect (and practically mosquito free). We live about a mile from downtown and can walk to a beach or forest just as easily as a museum or restaurant. But my favorite thing about living in Seattle right now is watching it grow, so much so fast. Even though some of the growth is problematic I’m still proud as hell of our city, continuing to evolve and make a bigger name for itself in the world. Like me, it seems to be right in the middle of its story and I’m interested to watch how it plays out for both of us.

WHAT’S VINTAGE/ANTIQUE SHOPPING LIKE IN SEATTLE? It’s good and bad. Compared to somewhere like Portland, we have fewer cute, small vintage furniture shops, but we have more large antique malls, especially if you’re willing to drive an hours. I’d consider Pacific Galleries to be the gold standard of antique malls in Seattle. We also have some really great collectors that you can easily find selling on Craigslist. If you’re not scared of a bit of elbow grease, our friends over at Seattle Furniture Co have a 7000+ sq ft basement filled with furniture to hunt through.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PIECE YOU’VE EVER FOUND AND DID YOU KEEP IT? Pretty much anything that’s made the cut to stay in our house at this point falls into the category “favorite.” We only have so much space, and in order for something to stay something else has to move on. If I was forced to pick one thing right now that I own I think it would be a large Persian Gabbeh carpet that I have hiding under a stack of other beautiful hoarded rugs in my basement (this stack is the one thing I allow to grow). As for furniture, in the shop right now we have a pair of lucite Pace Argenta Chairs and a set of Mario Botta Quinta Chairs. If I could, I would hoard those forever, too!! Definitely going to cry when those lucite chairs leave the shop.

Follow @micheletansey

 

BOBBIE YANOUPETH, HAIR STYLIST

After living in New York for the past 10 years, Bobbie Yanoupeth has moved back to his hometown of Seattle. In 2015, he and his business partner Michael Sing teamed up to open BAHTOH, a bridal boutique that does everything from floral arrangements to decor to hair styling. Bobbie is a professional (and seriously amazing) hair stylist who has worked with Lady Gaga, numerous fashion houses, and whose work has been featured in Vogue, Brides, Nylon, and more.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT LIVING IN SEATTLE? Seattle has just as much to offer as any other big city. It has great food, cute little shops, dope art, so many cool neighborhoods, diversity and who doesn’t love driving along the freeway and seeing all the lush greens and Mt. Rainier in the distance!?! Even with all this growth and great culture, Seattle still has a small town feel. Since opening our shop, so many people have reached out to us and are so excited to support us. There is a sense of community here that a lot of big cities lack.

WHEN DID YOU FIRST DISCOVER YOUR LOVE FOR HAIR STYLING? I was eight and we were living in Holland, MI. My parents were refugees from Laos and could barely speak English. So my mother decided that in order for her to keep up with the hair trends, she was going to teach me. She pulled the dining chair up to the kitchen counter and taught me how to perm her hair. Which then led to French braids, French twist and other updos. I became obsessed and started playing with everyone’s hair. I would get in trouble in class cause I was braiding hair during work period.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE WEDDING VENUE IN SEATTLE? I’ve really been into intimate weddings. We did a wedding at Zoe Events recently. It feels like a little secret garden in the middle of the city. I can’t wait for the day that a couple give us total freedom to do whatever in that space. I want to recreate that moment in The Great Gatsby movie when he meets up with Daisy at her cousin’s house. He had the whole place decked out with tons of flowers, sweet treats and cakes. SOOOOO DREAMY!!!

Follow @sachoon

 

LINDA DERSCHANG, RESTAURATEUR

Linda Derschang is the founder and CEO of The Derschang Group, which owns and operates six neighborhood cafes, bars, and restaurants in Seattle. With so much success, Linda has rightfully earned the title “Queen of Capitol Hill.” Her signature aesthetic –– rustic, Scandinavian-inspired, vintage–– can be found in each space, big or small.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT LIVING IN SEATTLE? I love the Seattle summers. After nine months of grey, it is such a treat to spend so much time outside and on the water.

HOW DID YOU FIRST GET INVOLVED IN THE SEATTLE FOOD SCENE? Ever since moving to Seattle I have known people who are involved in food, art, and music. After opening Linda’s Tavern in 1994, it was just a natural progression to move into food.  

TELL US WHERE YOUR IDEAL DAY OF EATING OUT WOULD BE FROM BREAKFAST TO DESSERT. My ideal eating out day would start with Vif in Fremont for breakfast. I love their smoked trout tartine. Then I would pop over to Juicebox in Capitol Hill for lunch. They have amazing juice and salads. Le Caviste is just a few blocks from my house downtown so I often head there for wine, bread, and cheese, or charcuterie in the evening. I would  finish out the day at Stateside in Capitol Hill.

Follow @lindaderschang

 

ABRAHAM VU, BOUTIQUE TOY SHOP OWNER

Abraham Vu and his family moved to Seattle from Edmonton in the late ‘90s. He’s spent most of his career at tech companies including Microsoft and Amazon, until he recently quit the corporate world to pursue his dream of starting a boutique toy shop, curating collectible and designer toys under the moniker Made to Scale.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT LIVING IN SEATTLE? The diverse mix of culture, food, and the great outdoors. Seattle’s culture has been flourishing with the recent come up of tech companies and startups, leading to the increase of new food spots and developments in the city. I also love that you don’t have to drive very far to be surrounded by water, mountains, or the forests of the Pacific Northwest; what’s not to love!

HOW DID YOU FIRST GET INTO COLLECTING TOYS? For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been into collecting toys at some point in my life. My passion started as a kid the day I received my very first Transformers toy from my parents as a birthday gift. Since then I’ve collected everything from He-Man and Ninja Turtles, to Marvel toys, to now the more art-centric collectibles. I’m a huge sneaker collector, too, and the designer vinyls go hand-in-hand with sneaker culture. I think what appeals to me the most about toys is seeing the progression of the hobby so deeply rooted in my childhood to now being fully engrained in my life and my appreciation for them as an art form. I have always viewed toys as the artistic process of starting from a 2D art drawing, manifesting into its 3D representation.

YOUR FAVORITE TOY RIGHT NOW AND WHY? My favorite toy right now is the 400% Jackson Pollock Be@rbrick, from the Japanese company Medicom Toy, a collaboration with the late American painter. What draws me to this piece is that it perfectly captures the essence of Jackson Pollock’s work and makes for a great display piece in any collection. Medicom Toy is definitely my favorite toy company because of their collaborations with high profile artists and brands such Andy Warhol, Kaws, Nike, A Bathing Ape, Daft Punk, just a name a few.

Follow @madetoscaleshop

 

NIN TRUONG, DESIGNER

Splitting his time between Seattle, California, and Japan, Nin Truong kind of does it all. He runs a small design studio and gallery called WKND with his partner Christa Thomas, which is home to serveral in-house projects: Maiden Noir, a men’s and womenswear line, Blk Pine Workshop, a lifestyle, accessories, and furniture collection, and a small neighborhood coffee shop called Café Weekend. Along with the design studio, he is the design director for Stussy and to top it off, he has recently started a new project called the Da Da Da Gallery. Located in Seattle’s little Nihonmachi/Japantown, it is a revolving creative and contemporary space for work that can transcend from multiple dimensions.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT LIVING IN SEATTLE? I really love the geography and setting in Seattle. It’s a major city but is tucked away between the water and the mountains. I’m always reminded about how much I love Seattle when I’m flying back home.

YOUR FAVORITE SEATTLE NEIGHBORHOOD AND WHY? My favorite or part of Seattle is the South End (Columbia City, Beacon Hill, and Seward Park). There’s a lot of diversity and food choices are pretty amazing. There are still little immigrant restaurants and shops sprinkled throughout. Seward Park is great for swimming and there’s a few good loops for trail running.

HOW WOULD DESCRIBE SEATTLE MEN’S STYLE? It’s a mixture between laid back outdoorsy and contemporary. There are remnants of the grunge era still around, that’s part of the laid back vibe. Filson is based out here, along with several other outdoor brands, so that has an influence. Then there’s a great design and art community in Seattle. It’s much more contemporary — almost Scandinavian or Japanese in sensibility.

Follow @maidennoir

Bonus: We have an unreal Seattle flash sale happening right now! Shop the city’s brightest boutiques and designers at up to 85% off, but only until August 30. And go >

Couple We Love: Sissy Sainte-Marie and Eddie Chacon

We’ve got a serious couple crush on this Los Angeles-based duo. They’ve worked with some of our very favorite designers – Shaina Mote, Imago-A, Older Brother, Assembly, VereVerto, Loeffler Randall, Objects Without Meaning – and the coolest magazines like Nylon, Numero, Oyster, Dazed & Confused and Flaunt. And behind the camera they’re just as inspiring. We sat down with power couple stylist Sissy Sainte-Marie and photographer Eddie Chacon to quiz them on their creative process, their style and secrets to a successful marriage.

FIRST, CAN YOU SHARE A LITTLE BACKGROUND ON WHEN YOU GOT MARRIED, WHAT PART OF LA YOU LIVE IN, THE BASICS? We live in Los Feliz and just celebrated our 10 year wedding anniversary.

HOW DID YOU GUYS MEET? At a bar. They didn’t have Tinder back then.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT WORKING TOGETHER? We can spend endless hours planning before a shoot. On the other hand, we can choose to be completely spontaneous when we get to set and there’s that trust that it will work because we know one another’s process and vision.

Photographer Eddie Chacon and stylist Sissy Sainte-Marie
Photo by Jeffrey Teng.

DO YOU FIND THAT IN SOME WAY YOU’RE ALWAYS CREATING TOGETHER? DO YOU EVER STEP AWAY FROM THAT PART OF YOUR LIVES? No we never step away. Creating together is a constant part of our relationship.

CAN YOU SHARE SOME SECRETS TO A SUCCESSFUL MARRIAGE? Salt of the earth advice from my grandmother: “Just be good to each other.” And from Eddie’s mom: “When she’s down, you lift her up. When he’s down, you lift him up.” And from Joni Mitchell: “All I really want our love to do is bring out the best in me and in you, too.” With that in mind, we compete to see which of us can be nicer to the other one.

DESCRIBE YOUR PERFECT DAY OR NIGHT TOGETHER IN LOS ANGELES. Not much can compare to a night at home watching Netflix with the fireplace on and our two cats nearby. For daytime, we like a nice long drive out to Malibu or noshing at some of the many new restaurants popping up all over LA.

sissy-eddie-garmentory

SISSY:

TELL OUR READERS MORE ABOUT YOU, HOW YOU BECAME A STYLIST. I left the teaching profession after 10 years. A friend was letting go of her vintage business and I took over her inventory and started slinging rags. I used my vintage to style early shoots for Eddie. One thing led to another and I guess I’m for reals a stylist now.

DO YOU REMEMBER THE MOMENT WHEN YOU FIRST DISCOVERED YOUR LOVE FOR FASHION? No, I can’t remember a specific moment. I just know I compulsively thought about it until I eventually gave myself permission to pursue it as my bread and butter. Not until my late thirties though.

WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR CURRENT SOURCES OF INSPIRATION? Demna Gvasalia these days. And Phoebe Philo eternally. I always love what Christophe Lemaire and Sarah-Linh Tran are doing. And Maryam Nassir Zadeh is still super inspiring.

sissy-shaina-mote
Sissy for Shaina Mote SS16.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH VINTAGE. Since I spent all those years digging through thrift stores, I no longer enjoy the treasure hunt like I once did. New fashion feels so refreshing to me now. But for vintage, I let other people to the sourcing and I’m happy to pay the markup. I know the time and energy that goes into it.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONAL STYLE? I wouldn’t know how to describe it. If I see something I love, I say, “That’s so mama.” Whatever that means. I call myself mama. When I was young, I used to pray to be edgy and weird but I’m not edgy and if I’m weird it’s in ways I have little control over. I’m allowing myself to be drawn to what I’m naturally drawn to, which seems to be the conventionally pretty, the ladylike, smart, feminine, timeless things, with some whimsy and rottenness here and there.

oyster-sissy-eddie
Eddie and Sissy for Oyster Magazine.

BEST STYLE ADVICE YOU’VE EVER RECEIVED? Wear things that look good on you. Like no duh, right, but that’s hard advice to heed when you’re young and figuring it out and want to be everything to everyone. And once when I was younger, I came across the term “mutton dressed as lamb” and that sounded like the most horrific sartorial folly ever. Don’t be THAT person, I thought. I’ve always looked for older women who remain elegant, tasteful, and sexy in a dignified way, and true to themselves, as inspiration.

WHAT’S YOUR GO-TO OUTFIT? I never thought these words would cross my lips (or fingertips) but I’ve become obsessed with jeans and t-shirts. I have moments of pretty dresses and peacocking. I pretty much wear my Vetements jeans and a simple top everyday. But let’s see once summer hits and we’re into triple digits.

DO YOU HAVE ANY STYLE ICONS THAT INFLUENCE YOU? All of them at one time or another. If I can channel a style splice of Sade meets Caroline Bessette-Kennedy, I feel good.

numero-sissy-eddie
Eddie and Sissy for Numero Russia.

EDDIE:

WE HEAR YOU WERE IN A BAND? TELL US MORE! I spent most of my life as a musician. My proudest moments being my song “Wounded Bird” that I wrote and sang for the soundtrack to the movie True Romance and my hit song “Would I Lie to You” from my record Charles and Eddie, Duophonic in the early ’90s (yes, I’m a one hit wonder). These things were a boyhood dream come true and I’m still incredibly gracious that these things happened.

HOW DID YOUR CREATIVE WORK EVOLVE OVER THE YEARS? My father used to always say, “Just focus on the rung of the ladder in front of you. One day you’ll look up and be surprised how far you’ve climbed.” I guess this is me. I have just been moment to moment trying my best to say the things I want to say in the way that’s truest to who I am my whole life. I have had tremendous failures and lots of crazy hair-brained endeavors but at the end of the day it has led to a very happy life and a wonderful marriage so I can’t think of a better payoff.

WHAT’S YOUR PROCESS FOR A SHOOT? I try to remain focused on what I’m inspired by personally and how can I contribute or add something to that sauce. I’m not trying to reinvent the wheel but I do aspire to put my own spin on my subject matter. I tell myself, you don’t need a camera to make great photos. I ask myself “What do I want to say?” and then I pick up the camera. I’m realizing my process is mostly cerebral not physical.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONAL STYLE? I’m not sure I have one. Age-appropriate regular guy? When in doubt, I let Sissy dress me.

Visit sissysaintemarie.com and metropolisofvice.com for more.

Fashion Photographer BriAnne Wills on inspiration and cats

When you have a background in journalism, telling a story becomes second nature. While attending journalism school at the University of Oregon, BriAnne Wills discovered the intimate portraits she could use for storytelling through photography, dropped her pen for a camera and never looked back. Now based in Brooklyn, she’s behind the wildly successful blog Girls and Their Cats (now an addictive Instagram feed) and works on fashion shoots for clients such as Teen Vogue, WonderlandNylon, and even our pals at Gamma Folk. We caught up with her to get a look behind the scenes.

HOW DID YOU FIRST FALL IN LOVE WITH PHOTOGRAPHY? When I got my first polaroid camera in grade school. I loved forcing my friends and family to dress up and pose for me.

HOW DO YOU GO ABOUT FINDING INSPIRATION? I’m obsessed with creating mood boards. I love finding old photos from various decades and compiling them into a storyline. I could honestly trawl the internet for hours looking at beautiful imagery.

5 minutes with fashion photographer Jeana Sohn

Behind those gorgeous lookbook shots for Clare Vivier, Jesse Kamm, Black Crane and more there’s a rad woman wielding a camera. Jeana Sohn, based in Los Angeles’ Silver Lake neighborhood where she lives with her husband and son, was a painter before she picked up said camera to shoot her stylish friends’ closets. These portraits of enviable wardrobes from women like fashion designer Sophie Buhai and stylist Sissy Sainte-Marie led to a blog and to a new-found career. We had to find out more, so we asked and she answered.

HOW DID YOU FIRST FALL IN LOVE WITH PHOTOGRAPHY? I took some photography classes while I was majoring in graphic design in college. We only used film cameras in the class and I enjoyed it more than graphic design classes.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT IT? I love that it’s so spontaneous. I also love working with other people as a team and that every shoot is different.