Designer Mens & Womens Fashion from New Zealand
By Denise L’Estrange-Corbet and Francis Hooper
View recent World Collections on Australian Fashion Review Blog.
Introduction to the World Fashion Label
Late night chats at a bus stop, led to the creation of one of New Zealand’s most influential and finest fashion labels. Founded in 1989 in New Zealand’s Aukland, by Kiwi’s Denise L’Estrange-Corbet and Francis Hopper, ‘World’ started out in a cupboard in the back of an arcade. The pair were well equipped to make their fashion label a success – Denise graduated from the London College of Fashion and specialised in women’s tailoring while Francis had worked for the likes of John Galliano, Kawakubo (founder of Comme Des Garcons) and Yamamoto.
Fuelled by their energy, passion and vision, the designer duo have seen their label develop from that single cupboard, to one of New Zealand’s leading fashion houses. The World fashion label was soon taking the international fashion scene by storm, presenting collections at all the major fashion capitals of the world including Italy, Hong Kong, Paris, London and Sydney. As of 2012 the World fashion label had nine flagship boutiques throughout New Zealand and one in Sydney, with its product line expanding to include womenswear, menswear, accessories and beauty.
World Fashion Label: Key Dates
- 1989: The ‘World’ fashion label is founded by Kiwi designers, Denise L’Estrange-Corbet and Francis Hopper in a cupboard at the back of a New Zealand arcade.
- 1995: The World fashion label attracts international attention by winning the Benson and Hedges Fashion Design Award for its Oragami Dress, which was created from just two pieces of card. Tavant-garde garment, was purchased by Auckland Museum and used to design a one-off collectible miniature for Barbie.
- 1997: The World fashion label shows at Australian Fashion Week, where is gains the attention of Italian Vogue.
- 1999: The World brand firmly cemented it position on the global fashion label, when it showed at London Fashion Week as part of the ‘New Zealand Four’, along with Zambesi, Karen Walker and Nom*D. The triumphant presentation, resulted in the brand being picked up by prestigious UK department stores Liberty of London and Selfridges.
- 2002: World is the first New Zealand fashion label to be recognised by an award from Queen Elizabeth II.
- 2008: The World fashion label receives the huge honour of opening New Zealand Fashion Week, with their Autumn/Winter 2009 collection. Co-founder Francis said of the showing: “After several years of focusing on collections overseas we’re really pleased to have the resources and the time to show at NZFW this year. It provides us with a great opportunity to showcase our international collections back in our home country.
- 2011: It was a sad time for the World fashion label, when its historic building on High Street collapsed after the tragic earthquake that hit Christchurch in February.
Aesthetic of the World Fashion Brand
The World fashion label has become renowned for creating collections utilising clashing colour combinations and innovative fabrics. Their garments are imaginative, colourful and consistently break the boundaries, while remaining completely wearable. World is a fashion forward brand that combines sharp and impeccable tailoring with luxury design.
Visit the official World website, here.