Editor’s Pick Kate Jones

Kate Jones’ first interaction with the fashion industry was by fluke, as she was faced with the choice between fashion and food tech in her year nine class. Her choice then is what began her career in fashion and has carried her here; to the presentation of her thought-provoking graduate collection. “Through my collection, I am portraying the two sides of the denim industry,” explained Jones. Death by Denim is a commentary on the industry with the intent on leaving viewers wondering if they really need another pair of blue jeans. “As the fast fashion industry becomes cheaper and cheaper, production costs and quality suffer. These low production costs mean that factory workers are not paid a fair living wage and are often working in hazardous conditions,” elaborated the designer. Jones hopes to facilitate discussion in the industry by raising awareness of the sectors supply chain issues through her collection. “I am targeting both consumers, and industry professionals as change needs to begin at home before change can occur at production.”

This collection is what kickstarted Jones’ sustainability and ethically conscious presence in the industry. “All three of my garments were made from hand out of 80 percent recycled materials to avoid adding to the consumption of denim and have been distressed and painted by hand using safer and less toxic methods,” related Jones. Additional inspirations for her collection came from designers such as Victor and Rols and artists Nick Cav and El Anatsui. “These designers inspired me to start developing a story or statement through fashion and textiles.”

Jones intends to translate her array of experiences into building herself a career in fashion both here in New Zealand and internationally. “University has given me a lot of industry connections. I also found that simply volunteering on any project the pops up means that more doors open for you it’s a great way to meet other industry professionals,” she revealed. “Currently I am not selling anything I have made, but I am open to new projects and commission pieces.”