What began as an early childhood penchant for making clothes for herself and her siblings, owner Diane Burkhardt has shared and turned into a lifelong passion for delighting, inspiring and empowering women to look and feel amazing and comfortable in their own skin.
Training as a patternmaker and grader before joining The Cupboard team in 1997, it was not long before she launched her own eponymous label, eventually taking ownership of the business in 2006. With over 30 years’ experience in the fashion industry, Diane is becoming a rarity among modern designers in that she is fully immersed in the creative process, personally creating her garments all the way from conception, through to pattern making and fabric cutting, all out the back of her Ponsonby store in the studio workshop. This distinction in production right from the start means that making garments to measure is a seamless part of The Cupboard philosophy.
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Minimalist, post-modern designs employing beautiful natural fabrics and offering a considered approach to form and function. Often utilising exaggerated geometric shapes and eccentric conceptualism. The principle behind the designs - "We give minimal stimulation to make extraordinary feelings in everyday life and clothes that emit a delicate light, open the mind of the wearer.” Rather than following trends, Otsu is surely a brand for those who have their own philosophy on style.
Born and raised in Osaka, Japan, and based in Wellington since 2004, Yuka Maud is a conceptual and graphic artist by trade who forayed into fashion due to a love for, and desire to work with, shapes and fabric. Her designs are made locally in New Zealand on limited production runs guaranteeing low volume and superior quality.
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Renowned German footwear makers Trippen combine a principled focus on social responsibility, sustainability and environmental friendliness with modern and innovative design. Designers Angela Spieth and Michael Oehler march to their own beat, resisting the throw away nature of fashion trends and searching for new creative solutions. Their superior quality, long-lasting shoes are produced in small local factories, ensuring adherence to European environmental standards, and utilising materials as environmentally friendly as possible.
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Lingard's aesthetic is dark and innovative with strong roots in the gothic aesthetic. He employs a creative, fluid design process combining draping techniques with flat pattern drafting, aiming to create a balance between challenging statement pieces and also garments that are more timeless and wearable. Central to his ethos is an appreciation for high-end finishings; quality, natural materials such as leather, silk, wool and fine cottons; building a personal relationship with his local makers, suppliers and retailers; having a short supply chain that favours local producers as to understand the source of raw materials and reduce his carbon footprint.
When designing and patterncutting a central focus is for the garment to fit interchangeable body shapes, sexes and ages; while avoiding trends and fast-fashion. Lingard's work is best described as directional, neo-gothic design. He is inspired by many influences including nature, new technology, science-fiction, orientalism, contemporary art, music and film.
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