Meet the Buyer: Anna Paterson, Uncommon

Meet the Buyer: Anna Paterson from Uncommon

Anna Paterson is the Manager and Buyer at Uncommon, in The Tannery, Christchurch. After starting at the store as a part-timer while completing her Bachelor's Degree in Fashion Design and Technology, the owners entrusted Paterson to take over the store once she had graduated.

Uncommon believes that fashion should be fun and championing colour is Paterson’s go-to way to do this. As soon as you walk through the door or jump on their website it is evident. They love to stock both smaller New Zealand designers and larger commercial brands, which works well for their diverse customer base.

Uncommon mostly stocks women’s clothing, but they also have a range of unisex T-shirts, hoodies and accessories. Paterson notes that it is also important to Uncommon that they stock products for a range of budgets, buying mostly mid-range designers with quality garments. Buying once and buying right.

Meet the buyer, Anna Paterson from Uncommon

As a more boutique store, Paterson considers this an advantage for designers as they only stock products that they truly love. In mass department stores the staff are not aware of every quaint detail that went into the purchasing of the item, instead, there is an added level of passion in smaller retail. When looking for designers Paterson seeks quality and a point of difference. She tends to stray from brands that have saturated the market, in the hopes of bringing something new to the table. While all the brands she buys might not necessarily have the same aesthetic, they work together in one way or another to be worn in an approachable way. 

Paterson isn’t interested in stocking ‘gap fillers’, Uncommon have a well-developed brand identity that she stays true to. Only selecting brands that she can see growing at the store and being treasured. Most of Uncommon’s current brands sell in seasonal ranges, which means there is consistently new stock with different deliveries each month. However, this does not always mean following seasonal trends. While at times trends can be unavoidable, Paterson envisions pieces being cherished for years rather than seasons. 

Meet the buyer, Anna Paterson from Uncommon

Sustainability has always been important to Uncommon, and Paterson notes that there are varying values when it comes to sustainable fashion and she tries to cater for as many as possible. Whether that be in the production process like Rolla's and Neuw’s zero waste denim drying, or in recycled materials such as Dangerous Good's second-hand stones. Paterson notes that the most impact on the environment comes during the product's lifetime, not manufacturing, so she is focused on quality and care “No one-hit wonders around here.”

Moving forward, Paterson hopes to see a decline in ‘micro trends’ that are also terrible for the environment and is excited to see the colours of spring entering Uncommon - lots of Tomato Reds, Oranges and Green. 

She is always open to hearing from new designers and can be contacted at