New York, New York - 75 times

The Wellingtonian - - Front Page -

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.’’

Si­mon Tay­lor PHOTO: REUTERS

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