Last week I headed down to the sunny and quite beautiful Hawkes Bay region to run a colour and style workshop for NZ clothing company KILT. They had all their store managers from all 17 stores attending and it was being held at their factory/design premises.
What an eye opener it was to be taken through the whole process of how their clothing is created, made and shipped. NZ companies designing AND making their clothing in NZ is as rare as hen’s teeth now, so what a pleasure it was to walk through this whole process.
I loved that the designers are in-house and ready, willing and always asking to hear feedback. This means they can listen and adapt to their customers needs immediately. Out back is where the hum from the machines can be heard and all the local machinists are hard at work hand sewing the garments.
Big bolts of fabric are stacked high with an array of colour, prints and textures, all waiting for the perfect design to be matched with. Whoever designs the piece, then makes a pattern, has a sample made and wears it themselves to test the fabric, washing, wear, comfort and practicality. On the day I was there two of the designers were wearing their ‘original’ samples from a wee while ago, proving they are still going strong.
KILT had me come down so that I could give their regional managers a one-on-one with some additional styling tips. Things they can do and learn to help their customers have the best experience possible.
We had such a giggle! Some concepts I talked about really challenged past thinking on styling and we had heaps of questions back and forth. It was a super productive, and fun afternoon.
Thanks for having me KILT, and thanks for the wonderful feedback “Thanks again for the visit and also the social media profiling. The team took so much from it and we loved your down to earth presentation style. Every retailer would be silly not to utilise your knowledge and skills!”
Love your work. Keep it up! XX