Vicki Taylor is the founder and designer of contemporary fashion brand, taylor. We caught up with Vicki to chat about how the fashion industry is responding to the global pandemic, and her favourite pieces.
As our lives undoubtedly changed over the period of lockdown, how do you feel people should look at their wardrobes going forward?
I think we will all need to reassess where and what we buy. Take care and consideration in our decision-making processes and invest with brands that align with our own values. At taylor we believe in adding to your own style, reinventing something that is in your wardrobe with the investment of one special new piece – never needing a whole new wardrobe each season.
Consumers have become far more interested in how and where garments are made, and they love getting a behind the scenes insight. Can you tell us about taylor’s manufacturing?
At taylor we really work hard to ensure our garments are well designed and truly limited. Each one of our black label taylor garments is fully manufactured in New Zealand and passes through 5-6 local businesses. Our Black label makes up 90% of our range, with the other styles produced offshore to gain access to machinery and manufacturing processes that are no longer available here in New Zealand. These are The Patternmakers, The Cutters, Machinists, Pressers and Finishers who sew on the buttons, attach domes or keyhole buttonholes. Then of course our Quality Control team. These are the people who make what I design come to life. Our Makers are specialists in their craft, many of whom have worked for us for 20 years.
The textile and fabrication in each garment are the starting point for our designs. A quality, textile is the backbone of any garment and it is the key that will enable a garment to stand the test of time. I am incredibly lucky to have relationships with some amazing textile mills in Italy and Japan, from where we bring in many of our special fabrications. When I started my business 20 years ago there were approximately 40 places locally that I could buy textiles from. Today there are about 5-6 textile wholesalers left in Auckland who can supply us fabrications. Sadly, this decline has come as when designers make offshore, they also produce their fabrics offshore. We are so lucky to have this ability to source internationally from reputable long- standing ethical textile mills and produce taylor garments here in New Zealand.
Favourite piece from the range?
This season since being in lockdown and with the cooler weather now here, I have been loving my Interruption Sweater in the softest Alpaca knit, worn with my ever faithful and super comfortable stretch Venetian pants. This sweater is a piece I can see myself owning forever, and my Venetians have already been in my wardrobe for years!
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic businesses have had to quickly shift and pivot the way that they operate. It has also allowed time for brands to think about how they will operate going forward. Within the fashion industry in particular, there has been talk of brands reducing the number of collections they produce each year. Has this made you rethink what you might do differently in the future?
I think brands will hopefully take this time to rethink and rework the fashion timeline. It has become very apparent that around the world, we produce too much, too fast. The tight timelines mean shortcuts are taken, costs are squeezed, and the over production has meant huge quantities of clothing are reduced in sales and then sent into the landfill. As we aim to re-educate all consumers, my hope is that the need for instant pleasures and constant newness shifts. That we decide to use this as a fashion-reset for the good of the planet and to help our industry slowdown and re-evaluate what it is doing.