Top 20 New Zealand fashion designers everyone should know about

See who made it onto our list of all-time favourite homegrown designers, and your comprehensive guide on where to shop these New Zealand fashion labels online.

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When it comes to forward fashion in New Zealand, we’ve got an awesome catalogue of designers and brands that are taking the world by storm. While we’re not renowned for dominating the High Street, or the runway, we are holding our own where true homegrown apparel aptitude is concerned. And we know exactly how to create those stand-out styles that set us apart from the rest of the world.

Kiwi fashion is diversely creative and compelling. Auckland has hosted NZFW since 2001 and this staple fashion event never fails to entertain. We’ve laughed and cried, been inspired and appalled. In 2006, we saw the launch of Karen Walker eyewear which exploded into one of the most prolific successes in New Zealand fashion history. Adrian Hailwood, Starfish and Cybele are just some of the many other designers that have gone on to succeed after showcasing their lines here over the years. And this year we’re expecting to set our sights on more upcoming talents including Jordan Noah, Alma Wong and Laura Marris. Watch this space – this year’s New Zealand Fashion Week promises to be unmissable.

With New Zealand style setting the standard, there’s never been a better time to start spending some of those hard-earned dollars on splurge-worthy labels and designs. Dust off those credit cards and recreate your look.

Craving some much-needed inspiration? You’ve come to the right place. Rejuvenate your closet with statement styles designed by the brightest and best in New Zealand fashion for this season and beyond.


We’ve got a pretty perfect bunch of New Zealand designers on our hands that you need to pay attention to. Here they are:

1. Huffer

Originally launched in 1997, Huffer is now secured in its role as one of New Zealand’s best loved and most iconic homegrown brands. For streetwear you can both look and feel fantastic wearing, this label raises the bar.

Shop it online:

2.Stolen Girlfriends Club

This brand has been launched and honed by a talented New Zealand-based trio. Their designs are simple staples that everyone needs in their wardrobe. Splurge on luxurious leather or some seriously sassy pants.

Shop it online:
  • Suprette
  • Ballantynes

3.Karen Walker

This lady is one Kiwi designer everyone should know about. Her oversize statement eyewear first hit the catwalk at NZFW in 2006, where the label boomed and has continued its growth in popularity ever since.

Shop it online:
  • Netaporter
  • Nordstrom

4.Lonely

Lonely is a label that encourages self-expression through apparel. It’s fast becoming one of New Zealand’s most adored brands for girls across the world and with its lavish array of lingerie, swimwear and clothing, it’s not hard to see why.

Shop it online:
  • Netaporter
  • Smith & Caugheys

5.Storm

Founded by Deborah Calder, this brand helped to bridge the gap between luxury designer labels and high-street brands. Some of the plentiful highlights include fitted dress up or down blazers and metallic statements.


6. Commoners

Commoners brings us those modern classics we’re pining for. They recognise and appeal to our desires for understated essentials that no wardrobe is complete without.

Shop it online:
  • Area51

7. I Love Ugly

This Auckland-based brand first hit our shelves in 2008. I Love Ugly offers Kiwi lads minimalistic-inspired styles across tees and pants, as well as essential accessories and footwear. In fact, this brand has been so successful it’s now across the globe.


8. Trelise Cooper

Looking for an internationally acclaimed brand homegrown in New Zealand? Trelise Cooper fits the bill. This label is all about clean lines and aesthetics, without compromising on personality.


9. Company of Strangers

Founded in 2008 by Sara Munro, Company of Strangers is a jewellery designer that has very much achieved the intended overall feel for dark romanticism. Finish your effect with out-of-the-box splurge-worthy jewellery.

Shop it online:
  • The Frock Shop

10. Working Style

While this brand started simple, it’s fast become a force to be reckoned with. Working Style is now regarded as one of the superior menswear retailers our country has to offer. Not bad considering it all began selling tailored shirts door-to-door, eh?


11. Kate Sylvester

Love flirty feminine fashion? Kate Sylvester combines gorgeously girly designs with immaculate tailoring and attention to detail. The masterpieces are all based loosely around timeless classics, which leads to awesome wearability.

Shop it online:
  • Smith & Caugheys

12. My Boyfriend’s Back

Danielle Burkhart brought this label to our clothing rails back in 2010. The apparel on offer caters to those of us who adore the whole urban-organic vibe. This designer also likes to include local talent too, pairing up with homegrown artists and photographers during the creation process.


13. NOM*D

Margarita Robertson is the inspired creator of this innovative gothic-esque brand. The clothing is renowned for its durability, as well as offering a comfortable wear. NOM*D is now an international sensation too.


14. Adrienne Whitewood

This self-titled label was inspired by the designer’s Maori roots. Tribal patterns combined with earthy colours give this brand a really unique and stylised aesthetic appeal. Break away from the norm and treat yourself to something truly stand-out.


15. Deadly Ponies

If you like your handbags designer and handmade, Deadly Ponies is a label you’ll love. Have fun with fresh and fabulous quirky accessories designed in Auckland by Liam Bowden since 2005.

Shop it online:
  • 47 frocks

16. Kathryn Wilson

If you’re in the market for some ultra-decadent footwear, Kathryn Wilson is the label you’ve been longing for. This Kiwi designer really knows her kicks.


17. Zambesi

Edgy designer fashion label Zambesi was set up by husband and wife designer duo Neville and Liz Findlay. The styles on offer challenge you to experiment with apparel while preserving the all-important wearability factor.

Shop it online:
  • Farfetch

18. WORLD

Another spousal duo, Francis Hooper and Denise L’Estrange-Corbet, teamed up to form this label that aims to help us celebrate our individuality. The bright, contrasting colour palettes and bold pattern choices first appeared in our sights in 1989!


19. Alexandra Owen

Alexandra Owen is a big name brand in haute couture. The luxurious and inspired high fashion styles range from striking and awe-inspiring to understated and elegant.


20. Annah Stretton

If you like to experiment with colour and patterns, Annah Stretton is perfection. The gorgeous anti-fit and juxtaposing tailored-look apparel created by this designer is alluring and varied. Annah Stretton can turn her hand to any style.



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