Evolution Clothing area manager Nikki Webster, of Mount
Maunganui, prepares the company's new George St store for
today's opening, helped by shop assistants Lania Paul
(left) and Bridget Robertson. It is one of six new fashion
stores opening in Dunedin this month. Photo by Peter
Retail fashion in Dunedin is going from strength to
Six shops are opening in the central city this month,
including the first dedicated retail spaces for Dunedin
designers Charmaine Reveley, Fiona Clements and Donna
Fellow Dunedin designer Tamsin Cooper is opening a new
ground-floor store in Moray Pl, and White By Design has
relocated from Roslyn Village to George St.
Evolution Clothing, established in Mount Maunganui, is also
opening a George St shop today, its seventh nationwide.
More than 300 people applied for three jobs at the shop, the
most in the company's history.
Otago Chamber of Commerce chief executive John Christie said
Dunedin was known as a fashion destination, and it was
encouraging to see further growth in the city's retail
''It shows how strong the design and fashion industry is for
us. It attracts people to come here for a unique shopping
Mr Christie said Dunedin fashion was a secondary drawcard for
many conference delegates and their partners, who were
typically big retail spenders.
''The timing of these new shops is particularly good with iD
coming up soon, and it just gives people an additional reason
to come to Dunedin. It's exciting and it bodes particularly
well for fashion retailers,'' he said.
Evolution Clothing fashion director Miranda Cobb, of Mount
Maunganui, said the company had a strong student following
and for years customers had suggested a Dunedin store.
She liked Dunedin's ''condensed'' shopping area and said
residents seemed to be open-minded about fashion.
The flourish of retail fashion activity follows steady growth
in the Dunedin market.
Last year Dunedin designer Sara Munro opened her first
Company of Strangers store in George St, alongside many other
well-established local outlets.
Next week Ms Reveley will join them, selling her own clothing
lines as well as other designer garments, accessories,
footwear, jewellery and cosmetics.
She will also eventually move her workroom from Dowling St to
George St. Ms Clements and fellow environmental designer
Shigeko Iwamuro will open Dunedin's first sustainable fashion
hub in Jetty St during iD Dunedin Fashion Week, which starts
on March 29.
There Ms Clements will create and sell her fully recycled
Senorita AweSUMO line.
Mild-Red designer and director Donna Tulloch will also open
her new retail space during iD, having revamped the back of
her York Pl building into a retail hub, where her clothing
will be sold with artwork and other design products.
One of Dunedin's more established fashion designers, Mrs
Tulloch said it was vital to meet the growing demand of
customers and be relevant in today's market.
''If you don't move it, you lose it. We've always been a
wholesaler and we'll continue to supply wholesale, but we
have to move forward and the demand is there for retail as
well as online.''