This weekend will see the start of Dunedin Fashion Week – an event celebrating the city’s style, creativity and of course talented fashion designers. The week -long event will this year be celebrating its 17th anniversary and will feature international guests, some of New Zealand’s finest designers and a lot of local talent at the 12th annual iD International Emerging Designer Awards which is presented in partnership with Otago Polytechnic.

We caught up with some of the designers who will be displaying their fantastic work at this year’s event to find out what they love the most about Dunedin Fashion Week and where their inspiration comes from:

Company of Strangers - iD Dunedin Fashion WeekSarah Munro – Company of Strangers

Returning for their sixth year at iD Dunedin Fashion Week, Company of Strangers are a regular fixture and this year will be no different.  Designer Sara Munro loves the event as ‘there is no other fashion event quite like this’ going on to say that it’s nice to see something other than sport dominating the headlines in Southland.

Sara takes her inspiration from everything around her ‘the people I work with every day, my team, the music we listen to, the conversations we have, the art I see on my travels, the books I read’. She is also really excited about this year’s event and seeing all the latest technologies being taught in fashion schools around the world. Getting to see the garments put together in real time in front of you rather than in pictures is a big part of the show that Sara enjoys as well as meeting customers.

Dunedin iD Fashion Week Margi RobertsonMargarita Robertson – NOM*d

Margarita is an iD Dunedin Fashion Week veteran having been involved in the event since its inception 16 years ago. Since then, she has seen the event get bigger and bigger every year, something that is exciting to be involved with.

Margarita is inspired by the amazing support team she has working with her in Dunedin and the ‘love of our customers at Plume’ which is the retail store and home to the NOM*d brand along with their international brands.

Margarita is once again looking forward to the event, “Many people from outside the city that have never visited are always super impressed. It’s so amazing, from the friendliness of the people to the amazing architecture and the beautiful nature – there are so many things to enjoy.”

Marie Strauss - iD Dunedin Fashion WeekMarie Strauss – DADA Collection

Marie is another iD Dunedin Fashion Week veteran and this will be the eight time she has showcased her work at the event as part of the DADA Collection. A huge fan of the event, Marie loves that the Show ‘opens up an opportunity to showcase what people are making, saying and attending in the city – all in one week’.

Marie cites a number of world renowned designers as inspiration for her own work including Marni, Jil Sander, Walter van Beirendonck, Raf Simons and Prada. As this will be her eighth time at the event, we asked Marie what it is that make iD Dunedin Fashion Week so special, ‘It’s a small city and it has an intimacy in that everything happens in close proximity. Locals know one another and everyone participates in this week of creativity.’

Sharlee Ghent - iD Dunedin Fashion WeekSharlee Ghent – Otago Polytechnic Graduate

Sharlee is a graduate of Otago Polytechnic and this will be the first time she has displayed her work at iD Dunedin Fashion Week. She only graduated last year and being selected was a great way to finish up her undergraduate degree. Sharlee’s inspiration comes in many forms, however she cites Japanese designers Rei Kawakubo and Yohji Yamamoto as well as New Zealand artist Ralph Hotere as big influencers.

Sharlee is most looking forward to showcasing her work alongside some of New Zealand’s leading designers, ‘I am looking forward to being part of such a unique and well publicised event’. Dunedin is the perfect place to host the event with its ‘wonderful local culture’. She also can’t wait to for the week to start, ‘The people are great and the city is both beautiful and bustling’.

Amy Dunn - iD Dunedin Fashion WeekAmy Dunn – Otago Polytechnic Graduate

This year’s iD Dunedin Fashion Week will be Amy’s first experience showcasing her work at the event and she is very excited to be involved in her very first fashion show, ‘It’s going to be amazing to be given the opportunity to show my designs in front of such a large audience’.  As well as the opportunity to display her own work, Amy is also excited about getting to see some world-class designers up close, ‘I’m also very excited to see some of my favourite designers new ranges up close as full collections, and honoured to show alongside them.’

Amy thinks Dunedin is the perfect place for such a big fashion show, ‘Dunedin is lucky to have so many successful labels based here so it’s great to support them all coming together to show their collections.’ Amy cites her Mum as being her biggest inspiration, “ I grew up loving the clothes she wore and as I got older, I started to borrow them a lot.’ This helped to shape Amy’s intergenerational style and is a big part of her collection.

Joseph Hollebon - iD Dunedin Fashion WeekJoseph Hollebon – Otago Polytechnic Graduate

Although this will be the first time Joseph has displayed his work at iD Dunedin Fashion Week, it is not his first time at the event, ‘I really enjoy working backstage at iD Fashion Week, getting to see the creativity close up’. This time around, Otago Polytechnic Graduate Joseph gets to be part of the Show.

When asked about his inspirations for his own work, Joseph couldn’t cite anyone specific, “ I don’t have one specific figure that I solely draw inspiration from; I prefer to engage myself with numerous texts, design methodologies and creatives from different domains.’ Over his three years working backstage, the thing Joseph most enjoys about the week is the ‘huge variety of fashion’ which appeals to such a large audience that come along every year.

Brittany Pooley - iD Dunedin Fashion WeekBrittany Pooley – Otago Polytechnic Graduate

Another Otago Polytechnic Graduate who will be showcasing her work for the first time at this year’s event is Brittany Pooley. Having worked backstage at iD Dunedin Fashion Week for the past three years, she is understandably very excited about this year’s event, ‘iD attracts so many people from around the country and it’s great to see the city filled with designers, emerging designers and people from all across the industry.’

Brittany is also a big fan of Dunedin, ‘Dunedin has a brilliant community of creatives that drive its culture. I encourage people to come down and check out the shows and other events.’ Brittany draws her inspiration from a wide range of disciplines and has a soft spot for game changers, ‘Musicians like David Bowie, designers like Yohji Yamamoto and Martin Mariela and theorists/philosophers like Michel Foucault and Albert Camus.’

Brittany is really excited for Jack Hill’s show ‘I hear he puts on a great event.’

Kenya Quin - iD Dunedin Fashion WeekKenya Quin – Otago Polytechnic Graduate

Another newcomer to showcasing at iD Dunedin Fashion Week, Kenya has been attending the event for a numbers of years as a spectator and more recently working backstage, ‘I am extremely honoured to be chosen to show part of my graduate collection in the Railway Show this year and find the event a great way to meet new and exciting people who share the same interests in fashion and design.’

Kenya is from Dunedin and feels like the city ‘has a strong sense of creativity and is a great place for people to express themselves’. The week brings together like-minded people and Kenya loves the ‘interesting and inspiring talks’ and ‘amazing visual experiences’ that are on display throughout the week. Kenya takes her inspiration from emotion and nostalgia ‘focusing on how clothing makes people feel when they wear it’.

Andrea Short - iD Dunedin Fashion WeekAndrea Short – Otago Polytechnic Graduate

Andrea is really excited to be displaying here work at iD Dunedin Fashion Week for the first time this year which she describes as ‘an amazing achievement’. She is most excited about the fashion community in Dunedin which is ‘full of interesting and creative people’ and she is looking forward to meeting and making new connections.

Andrea cites her biggest inspiration as Alexander McQueen, ‘she took a unique approach to fashion design and used personal storied and experiences to influence her ideas’. She is most looking forward to the Emerging Designer Awards at iD Dunedin Fashion Week and a chance to see new and creative talent.

As you can see, iD Dunedin Fashion Week is going to be a fantastic event and if you haven’t had the chance to visit Dunedin or it’s been a while since your last visit, this is a great time to pick up a car and head on down there. We have some great deals on car rental in Queenstown and car hire in Dunedin which is around a 3 and a half-hour drive through the Otago region and down to the region’s largest city. We also have some great itineraries in the region for you to get out and explore.

You can find out more about iD Dunedin Fashion Week on their website and for our latest car rental deals, check our hot deals page.

We would like to pass on our thanks to all the designers who got in touch to give us their thoughts on iD Dunedin Fashion week and wish them all the best for the week.

Planning a trip to the iD Dunedin Fashion Week? Make sure you check out the latest deals on car hire in Dunedin and find out why we’re one of New Zealand’s favourite rental car companies.