Where the cool kids go …

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One of the best things about Dunedin is the SHOPPING! But where do the cool kids go? There are so many options so I’m going to narrow it down for you. Depending on your personal style, each of these shops cater to different needs but the great thing is they do have something for everyone of any age! Perfect!

 

 

 

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The iconic Slick Willy’s neon sign

 

Slick Willy’s is an iconic Dunedin store which has been around since the 90’s. It has two stores in one! Upstairs is for the younger unisex crowd, lots of street wear for all ages, they have great sales and captures the youth market in Dunedin. Downstairs is for a more mature market or anyone who doesn’t need street wear. My fav is the downstairs store, it boosts labels from NZ & around the globe including Kowtow, Blak, Creeps and Violets & Lazy Oaf just to name a few. Owner Amy is hugely supportive of up & coming local designers often stocking them before they have a following. The staff are super friendly & down to earth & I love that!

 

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Inside Slick Willy’s Dunedin

 

 

 

 

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Bell Bird Dunedin

Right beside Slick Willy’s is Bell Bird. Bell Bird is a beautiful boutique store that stocks lots of feminine NZ designers. It has a wide range of products from clothing, shoes & bags, to lingerie & jewellery. This is a “must stop shop” on the way down George St, one of the only stockists in town of NZ favs like Deadly Ponies & Lonely Hearts Lingerie. They also exclusively stock their own range called ” Danger Birds”, designed by the talented owner Shelley. It’s a cool casual street range that does really well in the store.

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Bell Bird Dunedin

 

 

 

 

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Company store Dunedin

Across the street from Bell Bird is The Company of Strangers store called Company store. It’s a gorgeous little store that has a real vibe to it. The company of Strangers store stocks it own brand along with another local designer New Lands & a handful of talented NZ & overseas designers including Underground Sundae, Lela Jacobs & P.A.M.  They have amazing hand crafted jewlery & leather pieces designed & made by Company of Strangers as well as eye ware, shoes, belts, nail ware & lots more. Company store to a must see in Dunedin, as it captures the Dunedin vibe so well. One of my favs!

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Jewlery at the Company store
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Inside the Comapany store

 

 

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Plume store Duned

Plume in Dunedin is another iconic store that has been around for decades since 1978. Local owner & designer Margi has long captured the vibes of Dunedins creative culture & has influenced how the cities residence dress themselves. The Plume store in Dunedin is large & stocks a number of designers along side Nom*d, other NZ favs Zambesi & Jimmy D & amazing international designers like Bernard Willhelm & a COMM des GARÇONS PLAY.

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Plume Dunedin
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Inside Plume Dunedin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SHOES!!! Who else loves shoes. In Dunedin there are the usual chain stores for shopping & shoes but if you are after something a bit different, the only place to go is I LOVE PARIS! Every time I go there I spot something to buy. Owner Ava has had the store in Dunedin (there’s also one inWellington) since  1989, after having years of being frustrated at not being able to find edgy & fashionable footware, she decided to bring the fashionable footware to Dunedin herself & she never fails on that front. Stocking some great international brands like Beau Coops,  Miista, Pons Quintana & local Kiwi fav Chaos & Harmony. I Love Paris is a MUST for shoes lovers!

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I Love Paris shoe store in Dunedin!

 

Until next time,

happy styling,

Jess X

 

 

 

Women crush Wednesday!

 

 

 

As most of you know, I LOVE Dunedin designers but there’s one in particular I have a “woman crush” on. She’s a total babe, a hard working girl boss who has the hugely successful label Company of Strangers. I asked Sara if she wanted to be my first ever woman crush Wednesday interview & she accepted! Here it is …

 

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Sara in the workroom in Dunedin

*Who is the Company of Strangers customer? We have a really broad customer base, the age group ranges from teenagers to retired people, it always surprises me who I see wearing our pieces. They want to be a bit different & not fit the mould, might be a bit essentric in their style.

 

 

*You keep everything really local with your production & manufacturing, Tell me why this is important to you? So many reasons … To support our local economy but also there are so many extremely talented locals with lots of experience in their craft that I feel we have the best ones for the job right here. There is a real craft to making high quality clothing, each piece maintains the specific details it was designed with, sometimes it’s the small things like the inside of your garment that have the most detail. I want people to see the quality & details in the pieces they are buying. It’s also important to me to have a relationship with the people who are working on my pieces & they are all local, some work in this block so it’s really handy & convenient.

 

*How much of what’s going on the wider fashion world influences what you’re doing here in Dunedin? We keep in touch with what’s going on in some regards like new advancements with sustainable & ethical practises, that is important to us. As far as trends go, we do look at some shows from overseas but we like to do what we are into & what we feel is missing from our own wardrobes that other people will like. We don’t want to do what everyone else is doing & that’s what sets us apart from other brands.

 

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*How do you feel when you’re going about your normal day, like at the supermarket or Kmart & you notice someone rocking one of your pieces? Do you do a happy dance inside your head? Lol, I always feel happy that someone I don’t know made the choice to spend their precious cash on one of our pieces. I always love it when it surprises me, once I was in Melbourne & saw one of our bags walking down the street and yes, I did a wee happy dance. A few years ago I was in Japan & a kiwi girl recognised our stuff & asked if we were from Company of Strangers, which was so random. It’s really cool to see people “get” what we do though.

 

*How does iD Dunedin Fashion week compare to the larger New Zealand Fashion week? It’s so different, with the iD Dunedin shows you can see the clothes on the runway & go  buy them the next day. It’s important & fun for us to show our loyal local customers a runway show, with other Dunedin & NZ designers. Also with the Emerging designers, it’s a really unique experience & a great platform for emerging talent from around the world to compete for some great prizes.

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*I’m sure there’s loads of youngsters out there who are starting out in the fashion world, who like me, also have a woman crush on you. What’s your advice to them? I have so much advice … Try to always remember why you started & try not to get swayed by other people’s agendas & advice. You get so much advice from mentors & business people from different areas, I think you need to figure out what advice you take & use & what advice you don’t. You are not going to be a great fit for everyone so do what you do & love it! If you do go off your path for a bit, that’s ok, just swing it back around to where you want it to be, stay true to yourself! I have creative people I collaborate with who are on the same page as me, it’s good to step out every once in a while & do something a little different but then we come back.

 

*Whats your biggest challenge as a #girlboss running your own empire as well as being a ‘super mum’ to 4! I think it’s the same for every #girlboss, trying to get that life balance, having a career & time for family. It’s hard & sometimes I think it doesn’t exists but I am always working on it & probably always will. 

 

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A local artist Philip James Frosts work

*How important is it to you represent your home town? It’s pretty important, I’m proud of Dunedin & iD Dunedin, what we do for a small town. There are so many amazing creative people here, it’s great to see them showcase their work.

 

 

 

*Biggest career highlight? My first time showing at NZ Fashion week in 2012, that was a huge buzz, so fun.

 

*If you weren’t a fashion designer, what would you be doing? I would love to build something more permanent like furniture, because it lasts longer that clothing. 

 

*Who is in your team here at Company HQ? I work here in the work room with Amelia & Di who have both been here 6 years or so. They are a great team who have amazing qualities that I don’t have, we all have different areas we excell in which is perfect.

 

*What year did your start your label? 2006, it was just me & I started out small with bags.

 

*Got plans to take over the world? I have plans but not to take over 🙂

 

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Sara & I ❤️

 

Until next time,

Happy styling

Jess X

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Until next time
Happy styling

Jess xoxo