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A Few Moments With Kathryn Wilson: NZ Fashion Week

A Few Moments With Kathryn Wilson: NZ Fashion Week

In exactly ONE WEEK, I’ll be at the opening of New Zealand fashion week! As a delegate, I’ve been excitedly RSVPing to show invites, prepping my outfits, and reading up on all the amazing new designers I’ve yet to see.

One designer who is definitely not new to the scene: Kathryn Wilson. Last year I attended Kathryn’s show, and it was one of the absolute standouts (considering I attended 24 shows that week, that’s saying something). The KW show was towards the end of the week, and at that point I had become a tad tired of watching models walk the runway one after the other, with little variation… Kathryn Wilson put on a show filled with energy, personality, and attitude. It really was more than a fashion show!

I’m tapping my foot in anticipation for what Kathryn will pull out of the bag this year, and thrilled to have had the opportunity to ask her a few questions around sustainability and what to expect this year.

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Kathryn Wilson

Image via NZFW.

What does a sustainable runway look like to you?

A sustainable runway is one where thoughtfully produced designs can be showcased to encourage consumers to purchase quality items that will last and won’t date. We like to think our designs can be kept in peoples wardrobes for a lifetime and called upon each season rather than need replacing. Our shoes are hand-made using quality materials and components that last, while keeping the silhouettes timeless and versatile.

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Shoes are hard to recycle anywhere in the world; do you believe we’ll ever have the technology to produce closed loop shoes that stay in our resource pool?

There’s a real humility required to properly investigate these issues, as we are all learning and making improvements as we go. With the constant improvements in technology though, I think it’s a solvable problem. It will take a lot of changes to the way materials are produced and businesses are run, as well as a shift in consumer mind-set to propel these changes to happen, but we hope it is possible. We are learning more about this every season from our suppliers and are really interested in developing styles in our collections that offer the consumer something where this is considered.

Does sustainability effect your own habits and everyday life (aside from simply running KW)?

Absolutely, I think we are all becoming more mindful of our habits and are taking small steps towards a more sustainable lifestyle. Whether that be; buying less or more thoughtfully or reducing the amount of non-recyclable waste we are producing. Simple things like switching to eco-friendly packaging, utilising ocean freight over air and maximising the energy efficiency of our stores, production houses and offices can have a sizeable impact on our carbon footprint each season.

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Mindless consumerism is a big part of the destructive fashion industry, how do you balance between encouraging thoughtful purchases, but still promoting your beautiful collections?

As a designer there are always so many exciting ideas for new styles that we would love to produce each season. We have to think really carefully about which styles make the final cut in order to keep our ranges limited edition and the maintain the boutique reputation our brand is known for. This is really the essence of what we do, super limited runs of fun, playful and versatile footwear that are made to last. We aren’t in the business of fast-fashion and we want our footwear to be worn and loved for many seasons. With that in mind, it’s easy to promote our footwear as a thoughtful purchase and one that we encourage our customers to take proper care of and enjoy for years to come.

Can you give us any insider goss on what sustainable elements we should expect in your collection that may WOW us?

Beautifully hand-crafted footwear and every girl’s fantasy shoe wardrobe. Our shoes are famously comfortable enough to be worn all day and night ,and even used to walk to your destination rather than using a vehicle… while looking your best of course!!

HUGE thank you to Maggie for answering these questions amidst the busy lead up to NZFW.

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