The rise and rise of Kiwi Designers
The rise of designer jewellery in New Zealand is being driven by great Kiwi brands and famous names – all of which you can find at Walker & Hall.
So why are Kiwi designers making waves? Here’s our guide to our brands and what makes them so hot:
Karen Walker: Since 2003’s runaway girl range, Karen Walker has been queen of the Kiwi Designer jewellery scene as well as the undisputed leading lady of New Zealand fashion thanks to her rock and roll belief that “tradition and craft doesn't have to be boring”. And now, thanks to Karen Walker Diamond, her jewellery range has a piece for everyone and every budget.
Karen Walker is a truly global brand, exporting to around 1000 stores in 34 countries, appearing on catwalks in all the major Fashion Weeks and attracting the attention of serious celebrities – such as Lady Gaga, Anne Hathaway and Charlize Theron. Having an item of Karen Walker jewellery in New Zealand has pretty much become a rite of passage!
Meadowlark: Claire Hammon and Greg Fromont set up their brand in 2006 drawing on a skateboarding and design background to create edgy, dark jewellery which still has a smirk on its face – fangs, skulls, snakes, wreathes and the odd candy heart. Based in Auckland, Meadowlark has attracted heaps of attention around the globe and is worn by the likes of Rihanna, Florence Welch, Grimes, Bat For Lashes and Lorde – and, let’s face it, celeb endorsements in the music world don’t come any hotter than that. Lorde even wore Meadowlark's eyeball and bone bracelets on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine.
Boh Runga: Back in 2007 Boh Runga wanted to “make something that I would be happy to wear, that my friends would be happy to wear. It needed to be accessible, and a fun thing to gift”. Less than a decade later the pop star has eleven collections of beautiful Kiwiana-inspired designs and a blog in which she poses with the likes of Flight of the Concords. To inspire her jewellery collections, Boh likes to ‘think of stories for each of my collections, basing my designs on a fable or legend to bring each individual piece special life and meaning’.
Zoe & Morgan: The truly international brother-and-sisters trio of Auckland-based Zoe Williams, Bali-based Morgan Sibbald, and London-based Ruth Sibbald burst on to the scene thanks to a coveted Paris Fashion Week spot. Zoe & Morgan have a hugely international flavour to their designs which include Egyptian motifs. They have a unique, highly stylised, cutting edge sense of fashion which certainly helps you stand out from the crowd.
Stolen Girlfriends Club: Dan Gosling, Luke Harwood and Marc Moore jointly founded Stolen Girlfriends’ Club back in 2005 when they set out to create products that they couldn’t find in the market place. Stolen Girlfriends Club have been a mainstay on the Kiwi fashion scene ever since with their playful punk attitude and street-cool style. They are now stocked in 13 countries.
Nick Von K: New York fashionista Nicole Miller became an ambassador for Nick Von K after a chance fashion week meeting with designer Nick Von Klarwill. Nick who started designing accessories for Kiwi brand Ricochet, has been designing jewellery for more than two decades and loves to combine dark, rock n roll themes with organic materials like mother-of-pearl and mammoth tusks. Seriously cool streetwear.
Huffer: Nearly 20 years after starting up, Huffer has become something of an institution in New Zealand with a reputation which hit the global headlines back when Orlando Bloom wore a Huffer T-shirt on the Lord of the Rings red carpet. Quirky, Kiwi… their jewellery just screams where you’re from, making it ideal for those off on their OE.
MichaelJohn: Surf-nut Mike Piercey started his design life on Auckland’s K Rd, travelled back to his native UK and then returned to set up shop in New Zealand. His designs hit the red carpet thanks to Evangeline Lilly at The Hobbit premiere and mix playful visual puns with real street cred.