Fashion may be fickle but in the words of the inimitable Yves Saint Laurent, “style is eternal”, as renowned fashion label Taylor proves.
For die-hard fashion fans, it’s hard to believe that much-loved fashion label taylor is nearly 20 years old. “During that time there’s been a huge change in the entire industry,” says founder Vicki Taylor.
The Story of Taylor
After studying fashion design at RMIT School of Fashion and Textiles in Melbourne, and working at New Zealand company Suzanne Gregory (now Gregory) Vicki set up Taylor in 1999.
“I wanted to create a fabulous entity that made beautiful clothes sitting in between the middle- and high-end,” she says. “It was my goal to make clothes to empower women to be the best they can be. I want women to love clothes and love getting dressed as much as I do.” Decades on, it’s still her raison d’être.
The Taylor Wearer
The Taylor wearer speaks more to a lifestyle than an age demographic. “She feels confident enough that she doesn’t need the traditional corporate suit,” says Vicki. “The Taylor woman has a bit of edge to her, she doesn’t like to make a big song and dance. She’s nicely dressed, she’s intelligent, she’s interesting.”
The Fabric Factor
Vicki sources her exquisite fabrics in Italy. “It can sound glamorous although the reality is I visit these very simple tin warehouses outside of Florence that get boiling hot in summer and freezing cold in winter,” she says. “Most of the mills are family run—four or five generations—where they work their craft properly; they use natural fibres and often everything is done manually. They are conscious of the environment in Italy and have huge recycling systems, which is something that’s important to me in my creation process.”
The fabrics synonymous with the Taylor label are superb quality and a little-known fact is that many of the mills Vicki works with supply the likes of Chanel and Dolce & Gabbana.
Standing The Test Of Time
The value speaks for itself. “I recently had a jacket returned from my second collection, which meant it was over 18 years old!” says Vicki. “It still looked brand new but the zip had broken so we replaced it.”
“While we have clients who have been shopping with us since we opened, we’re also noticing a younger movement, I think the next generation are more conscious of quality and where their clothes are being made,” says Vicki. “We are beginning to see a growing focus on being a conscious consumer. I encourage buying a piece that you love so you’ll treasure it and it will last a lifetime.”
Made In New Zealand
“Our main taylor collection is fully made in New Zealand and we’ve worked with many of our makers for over 10 years. By purchasing one of our Taylor garments, you help keep five to six companies in business and their workers employed. We love manufacturing locally and are committed to supporting our New Zealand fashion industry.”
With this in mind, three years ago Vicki opened The Shelter in Ponsonby, a contemporary space housing a selection of new and established brands. Brands with a strong international presence (such as Maison Margiela and Issey Miyake) sit alongside emerging New Zealand talent (such as Paris Georgia, Wynn Hamlyn and Lela Jacobs). Vicki recognises the changing retail environment is challenging and is difficult for up and coming designers. “I see so much talent coming through and I wanted to provide a beautiful space for our young New Zealand designers to showcase their wares,” she says. “The Shelter works as a meeting point for these like-minded design led brands.
“Even if you don’t intend to shop come and see our team because they’re people people and love helping women to look and feel great,” says Vicki. “The majority of our retail staff are design trained and I’m often inspired by what they can create when they’re outfitting a client.”