De­signer to launch range

Central Otago Mirror - - FRONT PAGE - By MAR­JORIE COOK

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.

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