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Kathryn Wilson’s successful season ahead

7 September 2021

She may be in lockdown, but shoe designer Kathryn Wilson has exciting plans for the season ahead.

WORDS BY Hemma Vara

MW by Kathryn Wilson 'Naomi' heel. Image by Steven Tilley.

With the level 4 lockdown becoming the new normal for Auckland, we caught up with prominent New Zealand shoe designer Kathryn Wilson to find out how she’s doing.

Although her ever-popular New Zealand Fashion Week show is postponed for the time being, Wilson is looking forward to a successful season ahead. A new Wellington store is set to open in the iconic Old Bank Arcade, and she’s recently launched her Summer 21 collection, available online and to be shipped once it is safe to do so.

The new collection features a rich and tonal palette entwined with reptilian details, embossed metallic, and gold hardware. As lockdown levels continue to change, these new styles will undoubtedly make for perfect summer soirée moments ahead.

Who’s in your bubble?

My husband Liam, 6 year old daughter Lola, 2 year old daughter Stella, 1 year old Spaniel Toby Ray, and 9 year old Cornish Rex cat Sergeant Pepper.

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What are you doing to stay well in lockdown?

We are making daily walks to the local park, so Toby gets a run each day, and zoom video chats with our work team, families, and besties to stay laughing!

How are you feeling about lockdown?

We were really disappointed to have NZFW postponed due to the level 4 announcement, we were really looking forward to celebrating our new collections with our customers and supporters…so lockdown was not what we were hoping for!

We are also scheduled to open a new retail boutique in Wellington. A lot of the install with builders was scheduled while Wellington was in Level 4.

Once we are at level 3, we will be relieved to be able to send out online orders to our customers as we had just released a new season of beautiful shoes that arrived for Spring. In saying that, we are extremely grateful for all those on the frontline who are doing their best to contain the latest outbreak.

What are you working on in lockdown?

Our sales managers are training new retail team members for our Wellington boutique. It’s interesting doing everything over Zoom when we would prefer to be face to face!

The wholesale team are finalising our winter’22 digital sales books so we are able to show our new collections to our 80 stockists, all who had their appointments cancelled or postponed due to lockdown.

My priority as a business owner and leader for the team is to make sure they are all doing ok in their own situational lockdowns; whether they have kids, families or flatmates at home with them in their bubble, we are all dealing with our workload and helping each other out the best way we can.

Our daughters are loving having both parents home during the day, and we are tag-teaming the parenting alongside work zoom sessions. Puzzles, making huts, drawing, dancing, baking, reading, indoor cricket, online learning, dolls houses, changing nappies, feeding bottles, and endless snacks throughout the day!

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