We were thrilled to be asked to work on the bespoke, New Zealand-made components of Auckland Museum’s new staff wardrobe. Their goal was to clothe their visitor hosts and volunteer guides in a design with a story: “Something that would connect them to the kaupapa of Tāmaki Paenga Hira Auckland War Memorial Museum and the taonga it has in its care.”
“It was a very New Zealand-based project,” says Fiona Blanchard, Head of Visitor Services, who describes the overall goal of the project to create a “cohesive look and feel across the Museum teams, a functional and recognisable wardrobe that is representative of the Museum’s grand identity.”
No small ask, the wardrobe not only needed to meet that conceptual brief, but also be fit-for-purpose, culturally relevant, connected to the museum collections, well-made, timeless, professional, and “something that our people could wear with pride.”
Based on the creative direction of artwork provided by clothing and jewellery designer Nichola Te Kiri, Fashion Uniform’s in-house designer Rick conceptualised the artwork into a stunning print for yardage, which we then printed in Tauranga.
Using our expertise with fabric, our expert pattern maker and cutter provided input into how the pattern would fall and where the motifs of the design should land. Visitor hosts and volunteer guides had the opportunity to trial garments from the existing Fashion Uniforms range to ensure they were suitable prior to the final fittings.
We kept all production in New Zealand, from pattern design, to cutting and sewing, which was done by our machinists at our Papakura factory. While we love being able to provide New Zealand made where possible for obvious reasons, it also had unexpected benefits, proving serendipitous when Covid hit and caused disruption to supply chains overseas.
Our client’s happiness with the final outcome speaks volumes for the success of this very special project:
“Chloe and the team at Fashion Uniforms worked alongside us every step of the way, from the initial brief and design, throughout manufacturing, sourcing and finally the supply and distribution of our new wardrobe. Working with New Zealand-based producers and suppliers ensured the process was easy, fast and personalised, meaning samples and finished garments were delivered straight from the factory!”
Fiona Blanchard, Head of Visitor Services, Auckland War Memorial Museum, Tāmaki Paenga Hira
Gorgeous photos thanks to ©Auckland War Memorial Museum Tāmaki Paenga Hira, Richard Ng and Jennifer Carol.