Fashionista drawn to the South

After many years in the world of fashion, Ches Pritchard now lives in the Frances Hodgkins...
After many years in the world of fashion, Ches Pritchard now lives in the Frances Hodgkins village high-rise tower. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
Frances Hodgkins Retirement Village resident Ches Pritchard has spent his life mixing with the "names" of the fashion, entertainment and broadcasting industries.

After many years in the fast-paced world of fashion and design in Auckland, Mr Pritchard realised in his 50s that it was time for a change of pace.

So he decided to take up a role teaching fashion, moving to Dunedin and spending 10 years teaching at the Otago Polytechnic School of Fashion.

Mr Pritchard and his wife Pam, who died a couple of years ago, were drawn to the South by his daughter Tara and her family.

Born in England, Mr Pritchard was brought up by his paternal grandparents in the small town of Crosby, near Liverpool, enjoying a "wonderful" childhood.

His formative education was at Southport and Liverpool art schools (completing a national diploma in design).

Mr Pritchard’s first job, as a designer-pattern maker, was with a company that manufactured clothes for British catalogues and chain-stores.

In the UK, he became aware of Carnaby St fashion, the "swinging ’60s" and Saville Row before a chance meeting on an overseas holiday altered his destiny.

While taking his younger sister to Benidorm in Spain, he met his future wife Pam, who was the stewardess on their flight.

Within six months they were married and in 1982 the couple moved to Auckland.

Mr Pritchard was able to get in on the ground floor of the city’s burgeoning fashion industry. He soon moved into the corporate and business end of the fashion world, working for Silk Degrees, Thornton Hall, Peppertree and on his own.

"When I worked for Silk Degrees, one of the models we used to use was the former Miss Universe Lorraine Downes," he said.

He also designed for television personalities such as Suzy Aiken (now Clarkson) and Penelope Barr.

- Staff reporter 



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