The Shelter is a curated designer space in Auckland’s suave area of Ponsonby. The Shelter sells established and recognised international brands as well as showcasing emerging talent.
“We like to harmonise and balance artistic expressions with commercial realism while nurturing and supporting our next generation of designers,” said Vicki Taylor, The Shelter’s founder. “We forge connections and relationships with our creators, and we like to challenge preconceptions of what a retail space is and transform it into space where art and shopping can co-exist.”
The Shelter provides a space from which designers and artists alike can show their personality. “To be part of The Shelter, you must have your own clear identity; we do not want brands to overlap.” Developing this unique style or voice is something that Taylor noted as crucial for emerging designers. “Within our space, the creators get to show collections in the way they want it to show. We allow them to be unique, creative and extend their collections beyond the racks that hold the garments.” The Shelter brings something to the table for everyone—a testimony to the uniquity of its items and artistic range. “We like to incubate creative thinkers and bring their visions into reality.” But The Shelter doesn’t only provide a platform to perform from, they nurture and support designers, and allow them to tap into the extensive community that The Shelter has.
What does Taylor look for when browsing designers? “A clear vision and the ability to deliver on that vision. Quality, manufacture and fabrications are always paramount as the brands need to sit beside well-established international brands. We are looking for amazing projects and exciting energy and the ability to build, co-exist and flourish within our Shelter community.” However, as Taylor explained, there is more to it than just the look. “Think through the whole process, do not only present me with just a range—I want to know your manufacturing ethics, delivery schedules, how your market is identified, how you want to talk to your end consumer and ensure your quality and business ethics are sitting strongly in line with your vision.” while design is essential, the devil can be in the details. Taylor said that simple things like remembering to put contact details and brand name in emails could make a world of difference.
“We want our designers and their brands to be consistent with their vision and make pieces that build and enhance their end consumers lives each season. Trends are for the high street market, not a Shelter client.” The Shelter is always evolving, mentioned Taylor, and it’s always a space to watch for the latest in design.