Beyond the Ugg
No longer are New Zealand’s fashion tastes being derided for unbecoming tracksuits and shoes, the local fashion industry is pinning the country on the style map. New Zealand is now home to a vibrant and steadily expanding fashion industry, with some 50 established labels, up from a handful ten years ago, half of which sell abroad. The Economist cites Karen Walker, Trelise Cooper and Icebreaker as leading examples of the New Zealand fashion industry’s value. The World Trade Organisation says clothes exports were worth NZ$315m ($216m) in the year to June 2007, up from NZ$194m a decade earlier. Trelise Cooper says because New Zealanders are geographically remote and have little exposure to mass labels, like Gucci and Gap, designers ignore the rules. “This produces a different, quite edgy style,” Cooper says.