Danielle Meredith has always had a flair for the creative, and she expressed to Apparel Magazine her excitement to be beginning her career in the field of fashion. “My creative practice has always focused on visual arts such as painting and graphic design, so the transition into fashion felt very natural,” she shared. Meredith has always been interested in textiles and the intricate details of well-made clothes, and this interest has transferred into the work of her graduate collection. “My design process takes me a while as I’m constantly fine-tuning my ideas into a cohesive body of works. I start with simple silhouettes and rework the stylistic details for each design.”
Meredith’s graduate presentation was entitled Collection #76, and it was inspired by the matriarchs of her family as well as her family home in Herne Bay. “These houses are where my grandparents planted their roots and raised their families after migrating from the Samoa and Tonga in the late 1950s in search for bigger and better opportunities in the land of milk and honey – Aotearoa,” revealed the young designer. The bold colours of her collection were a feature most heavily influenced by her heritage. Inspiration was drawn from her family’s retro wardrobes, chinaware and even their decorative cakes. While Meredith’s biggest influence was her family, stylistically she found inspiration from pop culture and the world outside of her home. “I am influenced by my love for hip hop culture and well-made vintage fashion. My taste in textiles is influenced by mother nature, bold colours, faux fur and animal print designs.”
Looking into the future, Meredith wants to create a unique brand which is able to connect with a diverse audience. She has teamed up with her brother Tino to create Section 76, an urban streetwear brand dedicated to creating ethically-made clothing which feels good. “All of our clothes will be designed and manufactured in New Zealand, and we’re excited to be creating our own signature textile designs,” she concluded. Meredith plans on applying what she has learnt through the creation of her graduate collection into her new brand, propelling them into the future.