Designer to launch range
Home is where the heart is for Wanaka fashion designer and online retailer Christina Perriam, who will launch her new summer collection and brand, PERRIAM, on the catwalk at Bendigo Station on Saturday.
Perriam’s journey in fashion began as a St Hilda’s Collegiate pupil, spending time in Tanya Carlson’s studio.
Fast forward through a bachelor’s degree at Massey University, the Dunedin Fashion Incubator, aWanaka retail store, stints in Italy and London, starting up online retail, designing and launching various brands, opening the Christina Perriam store at Tarras and remodelling her late mother Heather Perriam’s Tarras Village businesses.
Perriam, 35, has now been in business for 10 years and employs five part-time staff.
She is excited about this weekend’s launch at her muchloved childhood home. Guest speaker, Wellington businesswoman Teresa Gattung, and writers from some of New Zealand’s top fashion and lifestyle magazines are among the 150 invitees.
Perriam began working with a Wellington branding agency last year to bring together her Christina Perriam (women’s fashion) and Suprino Bambino (children) ranges.
The result is a total revamp of the labels, her website and her Tarras shop.
‘‘It is really cool. I amexcited about having one head brand . . . It is so valuable to invest in your brand right at the start. You can waste a lot of time with not having a strong brand and then changing things,’’ she said.
The Christina Perriam label is now PERRIAM Woman and focuses on ‘‘everyday . . . with a touch of luxury. Weekend stuff you can just pull on and still wear to brunch,’’ she said.
The successful Suprino Bambino name is no more. Despite picking up 30 stores for the baby and children’s range in one year, Perriam is renaming it Little PERRIAM and will relaunch it in February next year.
Other ranges to be launched next year include PERRIAM Sleep, PERRIAM Men and PERRIAM Home.
Perriam is enjoying the current period of business confidence after weathering boom and recession.
She has a successful online retail store and a growth plan.
‘‘I had to be clever about things, do things like change the website, look for ways to sell. I think those times are good for business people because it makes you a lot more savvier. You don’t get complacent,’’ she said.
Perriam outsources to cut, make and trim factories in Christchurch and Temuka and a knitwear factory in Tauranga.
‘‘It is hard to keep it New Zealand made, which is a shame. I like to support the New Zealandmade model.’’
Her goal is to ‘‘slow fashion down’’ and design key pieces of clothing that keep for a long time.
She likens slow fashion to the slow food movement, which champions reconnecting with friends and family, enjoying healthy lifestyles and environments and not being too busy.
Business savvy: Wanaka designer Christina Perriam and Cromwell product managerGemmaHerring look over designs for Perriam’s launch at Bendigo Station on Saturday October 18.