Photo by Shop Style Conquer (More photos can be found here )
April 24th 2015 Marked #whomademyclothes day. Two years ago today, 1133 people were killed and over 2500 were injured when the Rana Plaza factory complex collapsed in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Fashion Revolution Day started from this. Trending on social media, I saw lots of people showing their support by taking a selfie showing the label of their clothing and explaining where it was made with the hashtag #whomademyclothes and #fashrev.
One of those people was Auckland blogger Ellen from Shop Style Conquer. Above she wears the Amber Whitecliffe Maketu Tee. In the article link below, she explains her thoughts on the matter and her findings of NZ Made VS. Overseas made items from chain stores here
AND another great article by Viva-NZ Herald can be found here
It is a very interesting topic and to be honest I have been reluctant to debate it. Everyone has a different opinion and reasonings, so instead I thought I would share my process, as I believe it’s important for people to know where their clothes come from.
I design and make everything in NZ. I have a hand in the entire process, from design, fabric choice, make, marketing, right through to selling the garment to the customer. Within the process of creating my garments, I often need people to assist me with the following; pattern making, grading, cutting, sewing, pressing. Those people are paid a healthy wage (the only exception being my husband – he gets paid in kisses!).
I am very passionate about making clothes with beautiful fabric and great quality, and at the moment I have been able to achieve that in New Zealand. As long as people continue to support NZ Made then I will be able to keep it that way, but I have been tempted to make the shift to overseas due to price.
The problem doesn’t seem to be that people don’t understand that NZ Made costs more – most consumers are really on to it and educated to such causes like #whomademyclothes and get that part. The part I find most people are missing is what they are getting for those extra dollars spent.
If you pay for an Amber Whitecliffe NZ Made item, you are:
–Receiving an item that will last. I understand that my garments aren’t as cheap as other clothing brands out there. But I have personally ensured that each and every garment I design uses high quality fabrics, that are set to last. You might find that my AW Wool/Cashmere coat is an investment item, but it will last for years to come.
–Local contact. I work in my boutique right here in Parnell, Auckland every day. You get to meet the designer and give me your direct feedback. If your garment doesn’t last or it needs a repair, bring it in and I will replace it or repair it for you. If you’re unsure how to wash your AW garment, give me a call. Or if you just love that AW dress and get so many comments on it, I can make you another one
-Get exactly what you want. I have the special service of custom made garments and alterations, so I can tailor a garment to your specific needs. All women have different body shapes and don’t necessarily fit into a specific size – this is where I can come in handy.
–Unique and exclusivity. I only make one of each size per design, sometimes less! So if you do spend those extra few dollars on a special dress, you can be reassured that you won’t see anyone else wearing it!
–Supporting local business When you buy an AW garment, you’re supporting: the NZ-owned fabric wholesalers where I buy my materials such as H&F and Wall Fabrics, my seamstress Barbara in Henderson, my pattern maker Galar in Titirangi, my workroom and shop assistant Jess (a Whitecliffe fashion student), Jess from Studio Silva – my gorgeous friend who does my graphic design (she is actually based in Australia, but she doesn’t play sport so she’s ok! Haha.), City Construction in Parnell who I pay rent to, and so many others.
-You are supporting me A 27-year-old kiwi girl, working hard to make a living out of what she loves to do!
I hope you found this blog post interesting. I would love to hear your thoughts and feedback about NZ Made clothing and why you buy the clothes that you do.
Much Love, Amber xx
We are very excited to announce that a new NZ designer has joined us to make your Summer wardrobes even more exciting!
“TRISH – is the new accessible ready-to-wear line designed by luxury designer TRISH PENG. Splashes of colour just in time to flaunt for Summer, ranging from daywear to cocktail for the everyday woman. The brand is ever growing; challenging boundaries and style, while preserving the essence of beauty and staying true to the energetic modern woman”.
Some of you may have seen Trish Peng in her first debut show at New Zealand Fashion Week this year. Trish is a fellow graduate of Amber’s, and they also worked at Trelise Cooper together. We are thrilled to be able to support Trish and offer our special customers another brand that is high quality, colourful and proudly made in NZ.
Summer events are well underway and the limited range by TRISH PENG is in store now, so come check it out!
Click here to see a short video with behind the scenes action of our Mrs Pinto Summer 14/15 photoshoot and a look into our Parnell boutique! Amber explains the inspiration behind the collection and tells us a little more about the business.
Love Amber Whitecliffe xx
P.S If you would like regular updates on what is happening at Amber Whitecliffe scroll down to the bottom and subscribe to our mailing list!
Last week we had an exclusive event for Auckland based fashion bloggers, sponsored by Petal Cupcakes and Scarlett’s Spritzers. We were lucky enough to have Evelyn Ebrey as the guest speaker. The years of experience and knowledge Evelyn has of the fashion/creative industry was very interesting and inspiring to the budding bloggers. Thank you Evelyn! Also a big thank you Photographer Kalana Dayarante for capturing the evening and Katie Eustace from Network Communications who helped me prepare for this event. The first close up viewing of the collection (and the recreation of the chili wall from the Look-book shoot) was very well received by everyone, and you can see some of their reviews in the below links:
Tara and Ellen from Shop Style Conquer
Megan from Thread NZ
Nicole from Nirific
Tash from My Wardrobe on a Blog
Steph from Always Friday
Christine from Ruby Fearless
Helena from Helena’s Hideaway
Kershia from Catwalk Cult
Britney from Scout & Company
Blogger Britney Hazeldine has also created a gorgeous 1 minute video of the night which you can watch here. Please also see below a few images from the night.
We hope to see you in Parnell soon!
Love Amber xx
ALL PINK EVERYTHING!
Celebrating our new lipstick colour from Karen Murrell – Sugar Rush with a collage of our favourite pink things!
1. Pink flowers-of course! 2.big pink summer hats for the beach 3. Our Peony Maxi for those glam events 4. The Veronica B hot pink 100% leather clutch 5. KM Lipstick Sugar Rush 6. what it looks like on the lips! 7. Our fav trans-seasonal piece the Jellytip Dress 8. Pineapple print is everywhere-we are diggin it 9. Our First Lady Singlet-a perfect little pop of colour for a summer’s day!
Love Amber xx
Ever since we started styling our photo shoots we have teamed up with Veronica B Jewellery. This luxurious brand creates accesories, and leather goods at affordable price points with unique and fashionable designs. I have a serious fetish for gold, and love how a piece of Veronica B jewellery always jazzes up any outfit! Each piece is lovingly crafted by hand in Auckland, NZ. Available online, in store and is made to order.
The pieces above are new additions to our collection from the Spring/Summer 15 Collection “Dripping in Gold”. We also have a small selection of leather goods-purses, clutches and bags. Available for a limited time only. Go check it out now!
Love Amber xx
Aroha-Spring 2014 dropped online and in store on tuesday this week!
I am really proud of this collection! I love all the pieces and hope you as AW fans will too! Auckland teased us with a weekend of sun and now its gone back to rain, but this collection is perfect for that transition from winter to spring.
Pieces are very limited; in under a week of launching the Koro & Kihi pants are almost all gone and the Hoa Wahine Tee is already sold out! So if you live locally do pop in soon and have a play! If you want to order online but are unsure about things such as fit please contact us so we can reasure you before you purchase!
*Also! we are currently running a giveaway for our cute Kihi Shorts on instagram so go enter the draw!
Love Amber xx
The images above are taken by Michael Ng, K.Y.Dayarante Photography and Julie Cooper
Our second showing at New Zealand Fashion Week was held on Friday 29th August at the Miromoda show.
In May I entered 6 looks into this well known competition for fashion designers with maori heritage. I had heard of the competition but always been too scared to enter as my Maori heritage is not something I have been confident to fully embrace, since my father passed away. However, I decided I had nothing to loose so began exploring my identity. I hid my inspiration of my maori background behind fabric choices and names of garments, each having a personal meaning but un-obvious so that it was not visible to the public eye. After being accepted into the competition I developed my range creating a 26 piece Spring collection 2014-Aroha. I placed second equal in the competition (judged by Dame Pieter Stewart and Jack Yan, Editor of Lucire Magazine) meaning that I won the opportunity to show my work at NZFW under the roof of Miromoda. I felt so proud, as I walked down the runway I had nothing but dad on my mind-it was a great moment!
I had the best experience getting to know other designers and feeling like part of a community and Ata Te Kanawa and Montess Hughes were absolute legends organizing the show like a well oiled machine!! I recommend anyone with maori heritage to enter next year.
This collection is so glamorous and wearable and I cannot wait to show you the rest of it, which will be available to buy online and in store next week!
Much Love, Amber x
The range we presented was Mrs Pinto- Summer 2014/15 coming out in November. (However pre orders are available so be in touch if you are desperate for a garment- as our stock is very limited). This collection was inspired by my husband whom is half Portuguese. I drew on the traditional floral tiling in Portugal and the national colours-particualry red! I also learnt some of the language by giving all the garments Portuguese names. I thoroughly enjoyed designing this beautiful collection, especially the water-colour floral print which I did in collaboration with dear friend Tess Seven-isn’t it gorgeous!
NZFW was a fantastic experience, we learnt a lot and have had some great feedback from renowned people in the fashion industry. We just wanted to take this opportunity once again thank our sponsors:
Thank you so much to EVERYONE who has supported Amber Whitecliffe, even if it’s just been an email saying well done, it really does mean so much. The Fashion industry is a tough place to be, especially as a newbie but your encouragement is keeping me going through the never-ending sleepless nights, so THANK YOU!
Much Love, Amber xx
Engagement party, graduation, bridesmaid, mother of the bride, wedding guest, school ball, black tie event, and new years. You name it, I have you covered!
So go have a look and keep in mind; if your perfect dress isn’t there, I also offer custom made and can create a design especially for you!
Much Love, Amber xx
Model // Brooke Lepou-Evaga
Photographer // Hilary Johnston
Make up & Hair // Deanne Pinto (using Karen Murrell lipstick)