At this year’s NZ Fashion Week, Huffer celebrated 21 years since it was founded by two mates with dreams of taking New Zealand streetwear to the next level. That journey has seen the company go from an alternative skate and snow brand to an icon of
New Zealand fashion.
Metropol talks to Huffer founder Steve Dunstan about milestones and a new partnership with the Mental Health Foundation.
How did the Huffer story begin?
The want and need for an identity that represented the culture of board sports, predominately snowboarding and skateboarding, in 1997 between Queen Street Auckland and the mountains of the South Island.
21 years in business is a massive feat, let alone 21 years in an industry said to take no prisoners! Why do you think the Huffer brand has been such a success?
Confidence, knowing who we are and not being scared to evolve and grow.
Can you tell us a bit about the coveted A/W collection for 2019?
A stronger more focused interpretation of functional streetwear, with continued evolution through technical fabrications in ‘street’ relevant aesthetic.
How important is your new partnership with the Mental Health Foundation to you?
I am very proud to start an ongoing relationship and to personally learn more about a subject that seems to be pushed under the rug. I am far from an expert in this area, but hopefully with a commitment of being a part it will help people start conversations.
How would you describe the Huffer brand?
Inclusive, confident and honest.
What have been some of the company’s key milestones throughout the years?
Growing from board sports; taking our DNA and applying it to a new dynamic environment/market; developing a women’s offering which is now 50 percent of our business; opening retail and enabling a tactile, organic home for real brand experiences; launching in Australia with a committed, strategic plan.
What do the next 12 months have in store for you and the brand?
The challege of growing the brand from scratch in new markets is a very different proposition to our current New Zealand business, but also positively effects our New Zealand business as we further ourselves and continue to hone our skills of pioneering product and making new friends.