I love books. The books I buy are often self-help, personal development genre books. I’m currently reading and thoroughly enjoying “I am my brand” by Kubi Springer. So far it appears to be a step by step guide on working through your brand, who you are, what your brand promise is, your strapline etc etc. I am up to a section that mentions aspirational competitors. As it sounds – it is about who you aspire to be “like”. I have always loved Oprah. I love her honesty, her compassion and her love of shopping. But to be honest I have struggled at times to connect with fellow Kiwi wahine and roles models that I truly admire and love what they do. I love the colours and designs of Trelise Cooper clothing and connect with her because we both have curly hair but I struggle that ethically her clothing receives a F from the Tear Fund https://www.tearfund.org.nz/getmedia/a3d9fc5f-54a1-46c1-b85f-c004da975620/FashionReport_2019_10-April-19_NZ.pdf.aspx Karen Walker has done an amazing job at creating an incredible brand but her clothing sizes are a bit too skinny for me and her price tags, a bit too big.
In the shower this morning, I realised that a wahine who runs her own business that I admire, is much closer to home, in fact a friend who was one of my bridesmaids many years ago.
Jane Sutherland is a fashion designer based in little ole Kingston, a township at the southern end of Lake Wakatipu. Jane has been designing clothing and jewellery for many years and recently has gone back to a simpler, client focused approach by selling her clothing and jewellery via her website, pop up shops and the likes.
Jane started designing clothes when people didn’t believe she could. Jane doesn’t sew, she doesn’t cut patterns but Jane does have a vision to create clothing that is fashion forward, ethical, items that don’t “date” like many fashion pieces and the best bit is that it works for a voluptuous wahine like me. Her clothing may cost a little bit more but you have her pieces for so much longer that price per wear means they become great value. Your also not going to walk around and see it on 100 other wahine and suddenly feel not quite as special.
I feel funky in Janes clothing and I feel all the better knowing I am wearing locally made products. Jane’s designs may not be the style for you, but that is all good – we don’t all want to look and dress the same. In a world that has gotten so big, I think Covid 19 has helped me refocus on Aotearoa and what amazing products we make and produce here.
So this blog is in honour of my friend Jane Sutherland https://www.janesutherland.co.nz/ a wahine who is a mother first and foremost; a wahine who is creative; fashionable; fun and a wonderful role model. I’ve loaded a new pair of recycled rubber earrings onto my website this morning called Jane in honour of her. Nga mihi nui Jane for your mahi and passion for what you do.
Posted: Sunday 11 October 2020