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Kathryn Wilson

Runway for Ronald: Q&A with Kathryn Wilson


It’s that time of the year again, the time of the year when we get to see all the latest and greatest sartorial selections hit the runway for the M Factor Fashion Show for 2019.

 

Kathryn Wilson

 

What attracted you to become involved with Ronald McDonald House?
It’s a cause that is important to me. I remember hearing first-hand about what they’re dealing with in terms of lack of funding and thought ‘how can we help?’
I’ve been an ambassador for Ronald McDonald House Charities for six years, so we align our brand with the house with several events throughout the year. We support the house with proceeds from our public ticketed shows and our head office team recently did a cooking evening for some of the families staying there.
For anyone who hasn’t visited the houses before, it’s quite neat to know you’re always welcome to cook or volunteer there. It was so awesome for our team to see, not just the kids staying in Starship, but the impact for their siblings as well that are living away from their homes.
Once I heard there was the catwalk show, it was an easy decision. I had to be involved.

 

What are you most looking forward to about the Fashion Show in April?
We don’t often get to do events outside of where we are based. Our head office and retail stores are in Auckland, so it’s amazing to have an opportunity to connect with customers and stockists throughout the country. It’s a really well run event; I’ve worked with Maree from M Factor Events before and she makes it easy for us to be involved because she’s such a professional.
We’re due to have a baby very soon, so I won’t be able to personally attend, but I’ll be there in spirit. It’s great to be able to share our collections on the catwalk and see our products come to life.

 

You released your Autumn/Winter footwear range last month, can you tell us a bit more about that and where you drew your inspiration from?
The winter collection is a return to the ‘90s, with pointed toes; red and black and white; textured and printed leathers. They’re bold and make the wearer feel super confident and like she can take on the world, whether they’re in the boardroom or at home with two toddlers.

 

What other exciting things can we expect from the brand this year?
We’ve got Fashion Week in August and our annual Queenstown show, which is in its eighth year in August.
Lola is four now, so she’s going to school soon and we have our new one on the horizon for the family, so it will be challenging times ahead.
Timed in with the arrival of our new baby, we have Baby Wilsons on the cards – a collection of toddler and baby shoes. We’re also moving head office with new space for the team and we’re looking at retail opportunities outside of Auckland, which is all part of our expansion plans for the next five years.

 



 

Kathryn Wilson

When the shoe fits: Q&A with Kathryn Wilson

Launching her Spring/Summer ’18 Collection at Jacks Point Clubhouse on Friday 3 August, as part of the Veuve ‘Clicquot in the Snow’, all eyes were on the beautiful and inspiring Kathryn Wilson.

Kathryn Wilson
The summer collections are colourful, playful and joyful

 

Singer and jewellery designer Boh Runga opened the event with a snare drum solo before the models strutted down the catwalk showcasing the vibrant new collection.The 2018 showcase also coincided with the 200th year since Madame Clicquot blended the world’s first rosé champagne and Kathryn celebrated with a special edition rosé pink belt that marked the reintroduction of belts to her design portfolio. Metropol caught up with Kathryn at the event to discuss the dizzying heights of sartorial success.

 

Kathryn, what can people expect from the latest collection?

The summer collections are colourful, playful and joyful – a palette of cerise pinks, canary yellow and floral printed leathers adorned with gold metal stud detailing and glass gemstones. We have designed irresistible uppers on all heights on heels and sandals with everyday wear covered and special occasion heels for summer weddings and balmy nights out.

 

What is your inspiration behind your designs?

Julia and I selfishly design the collections each season based around what we are wanting to wear ourselves… we celebrate with colour when designing our summer collections as our customers often have cocktail events, weddings and annual race events etc over the summer months that are a perfect showcase for a beautiful feature shoe to complement their outfits.

 

After 15 years, how are you feeling woman’s fashion shoes are progressing in New Zealand?

New Zealand women love to look good, but most importantly feel good in their shoes and we have prioritised comfort into all of our designs so that our promise to our customers is around providing a shoe that can see them through from 8am when they leave the house to 11pm when they arrive home after a fun night with friends.
We are finding our customers are more open to wearing colour especially on their feet and like to buy quality items that last and wear well, not having to replace footwear each season. We love this and really enjoy seeing customers wear their favourite pair from years before.

 

What kind of challenges have you experienced in that time and what hurdles have you had to overcome?

I would have a long list of challenges we have experienced over the 15-year journey of the brand! We are constantly learning and developing as a team to ensure each season we are better than the one previous.
Our main hurdles have been around logistics and freight handling being so far away from all of our suppliers in Europe and Asia however, these systems are improving every year with specialists such as DHL on board to make the process run smoothly.

How would you style your bespoke Clicquot belt?

It can be worn high as a waisted belt with summer dresses and blouses with matching pink heels… or low on the hip with jeans and a white t-shirt / blazer combo with trainers. It’s super classic and versatile to be dressed ‘up or down’.

 

How do you make each Clicquot in the Snow show better than the last, given this is your 7th year.

Haha this is something we joke about every year, as the calibre of the event gets higher and higher each year with the tickets selling out in under three minutes this year! We surprised and delighted the audience with Clicquot’s famous ‘twist’ and enjoyed wowing the guests with a playful and celebratory catwalk event… with the best playlist of 80s/90s favourites!

 

What kind of values do you and Veuve Clicquot share – the partnership seems to work so well?

Veuve Clicquot love to celebrate innovation and creativity, along with women in leadership and business and we are lucky to align all celebrations throughout the year. It is the 8th year we have been aligned as an ambassador and I am very proud of the association, hoping to encourage more women as entrepreneurs to raise the bar and keep thinking BIG.