Liz Mitchell

“I began my fashion design business with bridal and that was a very strong part of our business and really helped us to grow relationships with our clients. There’s been a big change in this market and that’s evolved with the power of the internet and people being able to buy online at seemingly affordable prices.  Clothing that is so cheap has come with a terrible cost to the manufacturing work force and our environment.

The last period has been impacted by the global financial recession and a younger wave of people being able to access things from around the world and that’s changed our business. We’ve just had to be flexible and adapt to new opportunities in the market. I’ve returned to my roots with bespoke because it’s an experience that can’t be bought online – tailoring for a special occasion and the uniqueness can’t be bought. That’s what we’re focusing on right now, as well as being supported by digital marketing, Facebook etc to help promote what we’re doing.

Being able to share the working process of bespoke online is fantastic – though it’s not the same as being the client! I think fast fashion has had a huge impact on the fashion market – the chain store, Zara, H&M, being able to produce fashion trends so quickly and cheaply. That’s been the challenge for designers. But what’s happening now is that people are thinking “I’ve got a wardrobe full of clothes that I don’t actually love” – it’s a throwaway kind of mentality and society. I think younger people are thinking differently – having fewer things but with quality, having choices, being NZ made and an NZ designer is really important to show people your love for your craft, your experience – what you’re able to do for them and share that with them.”