Having been in the New Zealand fashion industry for more than a decade, Andrea Moore knows a thing or two about sustaining a business, especially in today’s retail landscape. With seven stores nationwide, two labels, as well as spanning across womenswear, jewellery, eyewear, footwear and swimwear Andrea Moore and partner Brian Molloy operate as a family business. Zara Overton spoke with the kiwi designer about her recent Fashion Week and the portfolio of collections within the Andrea Moore stable.
Congratulations on a successful and impressive show at New Zealand Fashion Week where you showcased your new fitness and swimwear range. Where did the idea come from to model this range using Royal New Zealand Ballet dancers?
I was inspired to approach the RNZB after seeing the movie ‘the Dancer’ and the video, ‘To The Church’. The strength, beauty and commitment to their art is very inspirational for me. It is such an honour to be doing a collaboration with them.
From the Autumn/Winter’18 Andrea Moore collection which debuted at NZFW, what can we expect to see from the range in stores next year?
At the moment I am inspired by the Orient and this collection explores this theme some more. ‘The Pursuit’ is based around a couple of conflicting themes and historical nuances; the Orient express, Agatha Christie, think lush velvets, jewel tones, mystery, and the Crane, which is often called the bird of happiness or the good luck bird. Think elegant shapes, fly away silks, Crane motifs embroidered, Swarovski crystals, and on silk lurex. All wrapped up in a luxe jewel toned, textural collection. We are presenting this look in a collaboration with Kela Charms – building on the luxe texture by adding pearl charms into the hair. We made a Kela Cap where the hair was fully encased in charms.
When did you know that you wanted to have a career in fashion? How did you get started?
I have a history degree and spent a year in Japan teaching English. It was whilst I was there that I decided to do what I really wanted to do – to work with colour and print.
Tell us about your Newmarket store. When did you first open here?
It was during the GFC, a very challenging time! We had always wanted a store in Teed Street. One came up during this time and we had to close our Hamilton store to open the Newmarket one. It was a tough decision but one of the best we have ever made.
Alongside your seven New Zealand stores, you have spanned your range across footwear, eyewear, jewellery, activewear, swimwear and not to mention your diffusion line, I AM. Quite the achievement! How do you juggle a busy work schedule and family life?
Brian and I work together so we are able to share the business and family responsibilities between us. Family is so important. The kids often make us laugh and we are always exploring new things, going fishing, or horse riding – as long as we are organized, we can do both. Our family life is greatly helped by my mother, Cynthia Moore, who regularly steps in to hang out with the kids.
With colour and beautifully tailored coats always remaining much loved staples throughout your collections, how has your design aesthetic evolved over the years?
We are more relaxed now but I still love exploring colour and shape and we now design all our print in-house. Everything is layered, considered and unique.
Having been a key figure in the New Zealand fashion scene for over a decade, how do you think the fashion landscape in New Zealand has changed?
It’s very competitive, but everyone has their niche and the clients are very loyal – it’s a fabulous industry to be a part of and
In 2016 you introduced the diffusion line I AM, which is sold in Farmers stores nationwide. Where did the idea come about to start this range?
It’s all about finding ways to grow your business and dressing more people. It was introduced to find new clients and show them our brand. We have gained some fabulous new clients this way. IAM is a play on my name and that of the Colin McCahon Paintings – IAM – it’s all about NZ identity and being an individual. It’s more relaxed than the Andrea Moore line, more weekend wear. It’s playful and fun. It’s a different price point but still with the same design integrity behind it. IAM is designed by Jacenta Kwan, and Philippa Thom creates the prints for both collections. As a team we are designing all the time.
How have social media and blogging changed the way you work?
I was reading an article about Neil Finn in Paper Boy and he said it best. There are no gatekeepers now – it’s a more democratic way of reaching your customer. Some of the bloggers we are working with are on their own journeys and inspire thousands of women to start theirs – it’s a very empowering industry and we love being a part of that. I love the individuality that the bloggers we partner with express, and that is what the market is all about.
It’s 10am on a Sunday morning, where will we find you and what are you doing?
I’m waiting for my fabulous coffee that Brian is making me. He is very good at making coffee.
What is Newmarket’s best kept secret?
The fabulous sushi place &Sushi on Teed Street. It’s so colourful and yummy. I also love Camper Coffee tucked away in Osborne Lane.
What has been your best fashion investment?
A vintage Celine dress that I picked up in Melbourne.
And your worst?
Maybe some bubble gum jeans back in the 80s.
What’s next for Andrea Moore?
2 Teed Street, Newmarket