Saturday, 22 January 2011

5 Mins with designer Annah Stretton

We caught up with New Zealand based desinger Annah Stretton who will be showcasing her fabulous Chameleon Calamity Collection at the LGN Events’ off-schedule London Fashion Week show “A La Mode” in February 2011...Read on to find out more about her new collection ...

1. Your previous collection shown at New Zealand Fashion Week was entitled 'Calamity - A Life Less Ordinary.'’ What was the thought process behind building a collection around this character?

Calamity was all about risks and bravery, a woman comfortable in her own skin, doing her own thing and living a life less ordinary. Our clothes are all about Calamity, they juxtapose, and clash, yet still work creating individual looks that truly set women apart, just as Calamity would never be deemed ordinary, nor will we!

2. You have now published two books, been awarded various honours for your contributions to the fashion industry and business, you work on various charitable campaigns, as well as run your own fashion label with over 30 outlets in New Zealand. Where do you find the time to work on all of this and how did you transition to writing come about.

There are three elements to a great life and a great business; discipline, passion and integrity. I love what I do, every damn day, and have built up a strong team to support me so it becomes easy to do more. It is important for me to run my business with Heart, that is to pay it forward when I can, whether I mentor, or work philanthropically. The books came about as I simply have so much to offer women in business, sure I have learnt from the school of hard knocks, but they don’t need to. Hence it was a way that I could pass on some of the strategies that I engage in each day that enable my business to go from strength to strength.

3. With so many awards and successes, I am sure this is going to be a tough question, but what has your professional highlight been to-date?

I was awarded the Verve Clicquot Businesswomen of the Year in 2009, it was an award that I was nominated for and came up against some incredibly capable NZ women. To win was a huge honour, and a reality check as to how far I had come. The prize wasn’t bad either! A trip to Reims in France, the Champagne region, where I got to network for 3 days with 13 other women who had won the award from around the world, as well as being wined and dined on wonderful food and champagne.

4. What should London expect to see from the Annah Stretton collection in February?

A Chameleon Calamity Collection - Chameleon being the only frock that a women needs to own and we intend to introduce it to a world stage -

5. So what is next for Annah Stretton?

The World… with the Chameleon frock, and the Stitch 'n' Bitch collections ... here I come!

Don't miss Annah Stretton's London Fashion WeeK Show. For more information visit

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