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As NZ Fashion Week Kahuria officially opens tomorrow morning, returning after a four year hiatus, Yasmin Farry will be leading the charge.
The longtime event producer, with 20+ years experience working on shows and large-scale events, stepped into the role of general manager last year, and has been working since to “reimagine and reinvigorate” the local fashion industry’s most high-profile event.
“In this role I oversee and executive produce the NZFW reimagined strategic direction, the commercial strategy, marketing and communications, partnerships and benefits, programme creation, new digital technologies and the overall event production,” she explains. “It really is a role of a lifetime for me.”
The leadership role has been a homecoming of sorts for Farry, who started in the first year of NZFW as a show producer and went on to work on shows for Juliette Hogan, Twenty-seven Names, Nom*D and more.
She is known in the industry for her zen-like composure, an essential skill for those working behind the scenes. The role of a producer is an integral one to the success of a good fashion show; running most of the sometimes chaotic backstage elements and sprawling teams, of which there is (usually) no hint of on the actual runway.
In a former life Farry was the event manager for the Starship Foundation, and in an even earlier one, the co-founder and creator of iconic Auckland venue The Khuja Lounge. All of those past lives in fashion, music, theatre and more will converge this week, with Farry taking it all in her stride – in a wardrobe that will blend dressing up and practicality.
“I’ll definitely be wearing and supporting our NZ designers. My style is pretty fluid, but I definitely steer towards suits and trainers over dresses and heels.”
It’s been an incredibly tough few years for our fashion industry and I am constantly amazed at the creativity and innovation employed to ensure a continued and strong presence for brands both locally and internationally.
The Aotearoa fashion industry is constantly evolving and striving to build a stronger industry through supporting locally made as much as possible, by acknowledging and elevating the skilled workers who manufacture clothes locally and by educating consumers and fellow designers to build a sustainable and circular fashion economy.
When it comes to dressing and clothing, I want to feel strong, comfortable, yet stylish and I definitely have my own signature which is a mix of new, recycled and vintage. Suits, jeans, trainers or flats are my go to on a daily basis and I like to embellish with a neck scarf and jewellery.
The oldest thing in my wardrobe would be a black vintage coat that used to be my Nana Biddie’s. My Lebanese Nana was an incredibly statuesque and very stylish woman. I have strong memories of the colourful clothes she wore, her jangling jewellery, diamond rings and her coats and headscarves.
I spent a lot of time from when I was a baby, until the age of 10 (when she passed away), in her company, as we lived for a time in the apartment below her. So this coat is a small piece of her that I cherish. Plus it is still a beautiful coat that I often wear, the quality is outstanding, it still looks new and must be over 50 years old. The label reads ‘Chloe petite couture. Designed and created in NZ’.
My paisley Zambesi suit is really sentimental. I had just finished studying at dance school, and needed to find a job. Being a graduate I didn’t have much money, but I used most of what I had to buy this two piece sheer suit, so I could wear it to my interview with Neville Findlay of Zambesi.
I had applied for a job to work in their Vulcan Lane store in my very early 20s and I was lucky enough to get the job. That suit has been worn on so many occasions, for work, nightclubbing at The Box in high street, weddings and family Christmas gatherings, so it holds a lot of memories.
I’m a denim lover, so I feel most like myself in my wide leg jeans, t-shirt, trainers and jacket. I’ll wear this to work, or on the weekend and then add my favourite Aggrey Jewellery pieces for a casual evening out.
On Yasmin’s wish list
Rory William Docherty ‘The Plazzo’ pants, $915
Rory’s prints are amazing and I can see these pants working beautifully alongside my utilitarian style. They would look great with my ballet flats or my white trainers. I love his aesthetic, it’s strong, yet feminine and super clever.
Juliette Hogan dress, $729
I’m trying to wear more dresses and this piece by Juliette Hogan is a perfect mix of beautiful, classic and practical so I could wear it during the day or to dress it up for the evening. And it’s black!
Deadly Ponies ‘Mr Minimses’ bag, $469
Just the perfect bag for racing around NZFW, this would fit my phone, NZFW schedule, lip balm – all the essentials for the week!
Allbirds + Olivia Rubin Womens Risers, $240
Perfect for being comfortable but also looking fabulous with any outfit while working at NZFW. I’ll be doing a lot of steps during the week and need to be close to the ground in shoes that will support me.
Emma Lewisham Supernatural Face Oil, $148
This is definitely on my wish list to try. I’ve used a couple of products from this brand and love how they feel on my skin and the way they smell, it’s luxury without the nasty chemicals.