Verve chatted to the lovely Jasmine Kroeze, owner and designer behind up and coming ethical fashion label Pinch & Punch, about her inspirations, brand ethics and her unconventional approach to collection release and production.
Jasmine, please tell us a bit about yourself?
I was born in rural New Zealand, to Dutch parents who emigrated here in the 70’s. Mum made my clothes when I was a kid, and I still refer to some of her old 80’s pattern and knitting catalogs! I always had an interest in fashion, so I suppose it was natural for me to study fashion design after school. European influence has always been strong, especially after my husband and I moved to Amsterdam and traveled for a couple of years. I was an intern for a Dutch designer while we lived in the Netherlands, that really solidified my ambitions to launch my own brand one day.
What made you first want to start Pinch & Punch?
After working in the fashion industry for 10 years, I wanted to create a brand that cared not only for the customer but also for the garment maker. It’s an outward expression for everything I stand for, most of all being kind to people and the planet.
Have you always been interested in fashion and designing/production?
Absolutely. As a kid, I remember designing my first dress and handing it over to my Mum to make for me. The fabric was a super shiny sky blue and the skirt was a long gathered number. The top was a full circle, with a hole in the middle for my head and armholes sewn in. Basically a 90’s version of Elsa from Frozen. I was pretty particular with the design and made Mum re-do the whole top after not getting it right the first time.
Where are your collections made?
New Zealand! All garments are made locally, right here in Auckland. It’s great to be able to build great relationships with the machinists. After working with off-shore factories for a decade, having NZ based production is great to efficiently work through any issues which can crop up.
What is the inspiration behind your collections?
The inspiration behind the Summer 15/16 capsule collection is an amalgamation of music, travel and cinema. The collection is entitled ‘Bandseye’, the meaning is a loose term for when one is flipping out. I explored the feeling and applied it in the sense of feeling overwhelmed with options, with potential future paths. Basically, it stems from emotion… the liberation of having the world at your feet, clashing with the edginess of having a blank slate in front of you.
What is important to you when designing your clothing?
Creativity and a positive mindset.
Please explain to our readers your approach to clothing production regarding “ slow release”?
The first range is a slow-release capsule collection, the approach is a little unconventional. Going against the grain of mass production and excessive choice, one menswear piece and one Womenswear piece is made available on the first of each month. You got it, Pinch & Punch for the first of the month!
Why is this important to you?
Since launching Pinch & Punch I have become distinctly aware of the negative effect that us humans are having on our planet and how we are exploiting other people, just for the sake of our own excess. I am continually looking for ways that the supply chain can be improved both socially and environmentally. This is why Pinch & Punch designs are not dictated by trends, encouraging customers to buy quality that will last season upon season. The ranges are smaller in size, ‘buy less, buy well’, is a huge part of the ethos.
Are you working on any collections at the moment?
Constantly. Usually I’m working on at least two collections in different stages.
What are your plans for the near future with Pinch & Punch?
Pinch & Punch is growing organically, the next range will be slightly bigger with more options. Winter ’16 will be launching in early Autumn, stay tuned!