Kate Sylvester returns to NZFW

04:43, Jun 20 2014
Kate Sylvester
FEMININE FASHION: A look from the Kate Sylvester show at Mercededs-Benz Fashion Festival Australia last year.

Kate Sylvester will show on the catwalk at Fashion Week this year, a return lauded as significant by fashion insiders.

Trelise Cooper, Kathryn Wilson, Juliette Hogan, Zambesi and TK are the other big names confirmed for New Zealand's top fashion event in Auckland from August 25 to September 1.

The last time Sylvester showed was in 2009.

"It's so great to be showing again this year," she said.

"We love doing shows, and this being our 21st birthday we really want to celebrate, not just ourselves but the industry that has nurtured and supported us.

"We have such fantastic retail accounts throughout New Zealand and [Fashion Week] is our only national event that brings the industry together as a whole."


Former Simply You editor Justine Williams said Sylvester's return to the catwalk was a positive for Fashion Week.

"It's massive and she's a great leader, and hopefully a lot of people will follow," Williams said.

"It's fantastic to have her supporting the local industry again. She's a real star, and it's just fantastic."

Now in its 14th year, New Zealand Fashion Week has had a rocky few years.

In 2012, Mickey Lin and Ra Thomson, the couple behind label MisteR, refused to attend because it was too expensive to take part.

The event has also been criticised for being too elitist.

This year, because of the "current economic climate and an ever-changing market", organisers have made changes to open the show to the public.

While designers were keen to show forward-season collections for overseas buyers, they were also interested in showing in-season spring-summer 2014 ranges for local customers, Fashion Week spokesman Vinny Sherry said.

There will now be just three days dedicated to trade for Fashion Week, with designers showing autumn-winter 2015 collections, with three days open to the public from the Friday.

Fashion Week managing director Dame Pieter Stewart said Sylvester was a fashion "heavy hitter", and her show would be a highlight.

"Kate's return to Fashion Week is indicative of the renewed sense of confidence we're seeing across the international and local fashion industries, which should translate to a strong sales environment at this year's event," she said.

Sylvester's private catwalk show will showcase her autumn-winter 2015 collection and take place midway through Fashion Week on Wednesday, August 27.

She will also show to the public on the Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

She will also show corporate wear in a group show on the Friday afternoon, alongside Trelise Cooper Boardroom, Kathryn Wilson, Juliette Hogan, Zambesi and TK.