New York, New York - 75 times
They’re a travel agent’s dream – for the past 26 years, Patricia and Simon Taylor have flown to and from New York about 75 times to visit their fashion designer daughter.
Rebecca Taylor, who was born and raised in Wellington, is one of New Zealand’s best-known designers overseas with her brand stocked in more than 50 countries, and worn by the likes of Taylor Swift, Cate Blanchett and the Duchess of Cambridge.
Since 1991, when she moved to New York, her Seatoun-based parents have travelled at least twice a year, typically to help with the city’s Fashion Week and look after their three grandchildren, clocking up more than two million kilometres in the process.
On many of their trips, Patricia sat up until 3am, sewing on but- tons and taking up hems the night before New York Fashion Week, and for years has been a sounding board for her daughter.
‘‘Right from the start, Rebecca would always say, ‘What do you reckon, Mum?’ ’’ Simon said.
The entire Taylor family have always had a love of travel. When Rebecca was 8, the family packed up and moved to England for a two-year adventure, living for much of the time out of a caravan.
However, while travel trends have changed significantly, with online booking now the norm, the Taylors have remained loyal to one Wellington travel agent.
The couple were among Paul Rennie’s first customers when he opened his first House of Travel shop in Lambton Square in 1987.
‘‘We were in Lambton Square and Paul was in a doorway asking if anyone wanted a good deal to Hawaii and, by coincidence, we’d been thinking about heading there to meet our daughter Bridget.’’
Since that day, the pair have always booked with Rennie – and their loyalty was solidified in 2001. Patricia was in New York when the first plane hit the Twin Towers on September 11 that year.
‘‘It was 9am, I was in the work room with Rebecca, and we saw smoke. We turned on the radio and heard the news,’’ she said.
Simon received a call at home from Rennie, checking Patricia and Rebecca were alright.
‘‘He told me he’d booked Patricia on every flight out of New York and LA to get her home.’’
The pair, now in their 70s, jet off again in a few weeks’ time. ‘‘Having children on the other side of the world is a good motivator, so we’ll keep doing it until we reach the end of the line.’’
‘‘We’ll keep doing it until we reach the end of the line.’’