Miss Kristine Crabb grew up under the Kaimai Ranges on a farm where she lived next to her grandmother, Gloria Crabb. When she was young, she would pick flowers and sing her way over to visit her grandmother. “Both of my nanas’ were really creative making clothes, hats, paintings, beautiful cookery, amazing gardens, musical, poetry and singing,” she said. When Crabb was about seven or eight-years-old, she and her friends would organise fashion shows based on Miss World beauty pageants using their mother’s wardrobes. Crabb recalls her mother always having the most amazing style and wardrobe. “I always loved the power and energy she got from that. Then as a little teenager and wanting my own stuff I started to make clothes for myself and friends,” Crabb explained.
With a Bachelor of Fashion Design under her belt, Crabb wanted to create something truly unique and alternative to what already existed in fashion. “In 2004, when I started, I found it a wee bit restricting. I wanted to create something beautiful and kind of liberating for all women,” she added. The clothes had to have a sense of fun and fluidity as well as the ways of wearing them and the lifestyle that came with them. Crabb breaks conventions while being a total classicist at the same time. “I think my singular vision for the clothes and the brand and also sitting a little bit outside of the industry; it’s what people love and is what has kept us going. It’s unlike other fashion brands,” she explained.
Before Miss Crabb, her first business venture was Rip Shit and Bust on K Road where she and some art school friends would create one-off pieces to sell. “It was so great, the things that came out of there were next level. We ran it for three years before Miss Crabb; it was a great time of learning about business, the importance of media and the industry and where I sat within,” she said.
Crabb designs all of the garments and products available as well as being the creative director of most aspects of the brand. She works closely with her team coordinating, coming up with new ideas and concepts for the next project. Her favourite thing is still having the whole day in the studio cutting new patterns and making new work.
The most challenging thing for Crabb is to turn a concept into reality while getting it to a high standard for business and everything that goes with it. Crabb feels lucky every day that she can live her life with her young children making art. She also loves all the people she works with, the brand’s fans, customers and all the people she gets to meet in her career.
Miss Crabb is available at a number of stockists nationwide, their flagship store on Ponsonby Road in Auckland and on their website. In 2017, Crabb plans to expand further into the Northern Hemisphere, Australia and Asia.