David Jones releases New Zealand Design Edit at Sydney

New Zealand designers Karen Walker, left, and Kate Sylvester with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. (Source: David Jones)

David Jones has unveiled a New Zealand Design Edit at its Sydney flagship store, celebrating Kiwi designers “earning a reputation on the global stage across the fashion, lifestyle and home categories”.

The display, on the eighth floor of the Elizabeth St store, was formally opened by New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern yesterday afternoon and will remain open to the public daily until August 7. Besides the peak of New Zealand fashion design, the ‘Wonderworld’ display will feature a Kia Ora Bar (Thursdays through Sundays) serving Kiwi wines and food, and designer trunk shows this Saturday. 

About 30 New Zealand designers feature, including Antipodes, Bennetto, Deadly Ponies, Hotmilk, icebreaker, Karen Walker, Kate Sylvester, Marle, Meadowlark, Nisa, Paris Georgia, Rodd & Gunn, Saben, Barkers, Max, Swanndri and Huski. The edit, created in partnership with NZ Trade Enterprise, includes long-established names and newcomers getting their first exposure on an international platform. 

Jacinda Ardern browses some of the New Zealand designs at David Jones.

Designer Kate Sylvester has been selling apparel through David Jones for more than five years and describes the event as a “celebration of the immense creativity of New Zealand”.

Chris Wilson, David Jones GM of menswear, childrenswear and homewares, said the retailer wanted to showcase “the best of New Zealand fashion, design, homewares and food right in the heart of Sydney”.

The show may help David Jones express its ongoing commitment to New Zealand after it closed its Wellington store on June 12 after trading for six and a half years, leaving just one remaining in Auckland. The company blamed the closure on low foot counts in Wellington’s CBD, a problem Retail NZ CEO Greg Harford says was exacerbated by Covid-19 measures, and a lack of affordable and practical parking in the city, which has driven shoppers to suburban malls instead.

Some of the designers at yesterday’s opening.

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