Rebe Burgess isn’t exactly the first person you’d imagine as a stereotypical designer. She studied marine biology at the University of Auckland, with no formal training in the fashion industry.
However, Burgess has a lifelong passion for design and claims that her fascination with the ocean inspires her every choice.
She found her love of fashion and creativity at an early age, recalling memories of accompanying her mother on fabric shopping trips.
“She would always let me choose a meter of fabric to take home. I would wrap myself up in these pieces of fabric and attempt at making a dress, a skirt, and so on.”
Accordingly, her mother taught her how to sew. The first item of clothing she ever made was a cream chiffon dress in a high school sewing class.
Today, she uses those home-grown skills in designing her hats, which are handcrafted individually by talented Kiwi milliners using the highest quality materials.
“Nothing beats seeing a customer feel amazing in their hat,” She said.
At the moment, Burgess works on her own in designing, managing her online store, sales, and social media. Rebe products are currently stocked online at www.rebesrunway.com/shop, as well as Muse Boutique in Auckland.
Burgess cites her friends, family, and colleagues as both her biggest inspiration and support. With that support, she plans to expand into other accessories in the future, including clothing. "Clothing would be the ultimate plan, to have a showroom and to take the label internationally," Burgess concluded.