Utilitarian Fashion from New Zealand
A label by Margarita and Chris Robertson
View Recent Nom*D Collections on Australian Fashion Review Blog
Introduction to the Nom*D Fashion Label
Born of Greek/Ukrainian refugee background, fashion designer Margarita Robertson had a fascination with fashion from a very young age. Along with her sister – Elisabeth Findlay of fellow New Zealand fashion label, Zambesi – Margarita was inspired by her seamstress mother, who she would often watch making clothes for her and her sisters. In time, she was customising the patterns to make the resultant garments individual.
That quest for individualism grew into a real appreciation for fabric and fashion, and Margarita embarked on a career in fashion on the 1970’s – starting out in retail with a boutique store, before slowing developing her own collection. In 1986, Margarita, along with her husband Chris – launched Nom*D, initially as a womenswear knitwear label.
In 1998 the Nom*D brand began expansion by branching out from just knitwear and adding wovens , such as t-shirts and dresses, into the collection, ready for a showing at London Fashion Week the following year. The expansion continued in 2009 with the addition of a menswear collection to the Nom*D product line. Known for it’s utilitarian aesthetic, the Nom*D label has continued to grow both domestically and internationally, yet Margarita and Chris still base their operations at their home town of Dunedin – a place that is very important to the aesthetic and spirit of the brand.
As of early 2012, the Nom*D collections are available throughout boutiques in New Zealand and Australia, as well as internationally in Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, USA, UK, Russia, Netherlands, Italy and Denmark. A full list of stockists can be found on the brand’s official website.
Nom*D Fashion Label: Key Dates
- 1966: Aged just 13, New Zealand-born designer Margarita Robertson enrolled on a sewing class at Dunedin’s King Edward Technical College.
- 1975: Margarita opens her first boutique in her home town of Dunedin.
- 1986: Margarita, alongside her husband Chris, launched her own fashion label, Nom*D, initially as a knitwear label.
- 1998: The Nom*D label evolved, branching out from just knitwear to also include wovens in the collection.
- 1999: The Nom*D fashion label stamps its mark on the international fashion scene with a showing at London Fashion Week, as one of the ‘New Zealand Four’ – the other New Zealand labels invited to show were Karen Walker, Zambesi and World.
- 2008: Nom*D wins the Growth Award at the Air New Zealand Fashion Export Award – as recipient of the award Margarita and Nom*D receives a $30,000 travel prize to undertake strategic international travel to build the brand’s export business.
- 2009: The Nom*D expansion continues with a menswear collection added to the product line.
- 2012: It is announced that Nom*D will be showing their Autumn/Winter 2012 collection, entitled ‘Do Not Disturb’, at the New Zealand Fashion Festival.
Aesthetic of the Nom*D Fashion Label
‘Tough like the streets’ – Margarita Robertson.
Nom*D is known for its signature utilitarian and androgynous aesthetic and with each collection there is a play on texture, references to traditional tailoring and reworked vintage pieces. Deconstruction and customisation are key themes in each collection, which are not influenced by current trends and fads. In part Nom*D owes it noir aesthetic to Dunedin, the brand’s home town – a remote city in the rugged surroundings of New Zealand’s South Island. A university town, with an international reputation for it’s alternative music scene and accompanying gothic culture, the spirit of Dunedin permeates the mood of each Nom*D collection.
Visit the official Nom*D website, here.