NZFW Behind-The-Seams: Barkers

Barkers pride themselves in being the go-to menswear store for quality on-trend clothing. We discovered what drives this brand, ahead of their New Zealand Weddings Magazine Collection Show at New Zealand Fashion Week. 

What are you most excited about in the lead-up to your show at 2016 New Zealand Fashion Week?

It’s always exciting to see what trends other designers are highlighting within their collections, and the scope of looks that can go into a wedding show.

How do you describe your collection?

This year we have focused on sophisticated simplicity and elegance. Our collection features a range of suit styles, but this year will see the return of the peak lapel, pastel tones and progressive footwear.

When did the preparations for the show looks begin?

We started planning for NZFW a couple of months ago, running through ideas and key looks with our fabric mills and factories. But the proper 'look' planning began at the beginning of the month once samples arrived.

How many hours would you estimate you’ve spent preparing for the show?

It’s hard to say, but there have been some ideas that we’ve scrapped and gone back to the drawing board on when they haven’t fitted into creating a cohesive collection. There’s some trial and error that takes up a bit of time, but it’s all worth it. Collectively as a team, probably 100 hours or so.

How do you edit down the menswear that will be shown on the runway?

We look at what’s been done before – both from ourselves and other designers – and work on how we can create a balance between classic sartorial looks and more progressive trends.

What fabric will we see on your designs on the catwalk?

Weddings happen throughout all seasons. We aim to cover our bases by providing a range of fabrics and designs from superfine merino to cotton suiting.

What is your all-time favourite fabric and why?

Wool. Because it has multiple applications and can be woven or knitted into almost any weight or design you can imagine.

What is your attire advice to a groom that wants to stand out among his groomsmen?

Standing out from your groomsmen doesn’t have to mean that you’re dressed completely different. Often the most impact is found in the smaller details, which means that you can separate yourself as simply as adding a waistcoat to your suit, while the rest of the lads wear two-piece suits from the same cloth as yourself. Ties can also be a great way to stand out – the groom could opt for a bow tie while the groomsmen wear neck ties.

Where does the brands drive and motivation stem from?

Continuous improvement in everything we do and constantly wanting to provide our customers with the best quality and on-trend products we can. It’s always a team effort and we inspire each other within Barkers to always go the extra mile.

What is one thing about the preparation for showing at fashion week that may surprise us?

It’s the attention to detail and sweating the smallest things which always pay the biggest dividends. Also the fact that so many of our team, from product design and marketing to stores, are all involved in pulling this off.

What do you hope people take away from viewing your collection at NZFW?

That Barkers should be the first choice for any wedding party.

Ties or bow ties? What’s proving to be more popular with grooms right now?

There is still a mix of both being used. It just depends on each groom's personal preference.

How would you suggest budding designers get their foot in the door of the industry?

Work hard.


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