Style File: Annah Stretton

Annah Stretton’s namesake fashion brand is a Waikato-based success story and the designer and CEO has been creating her popular, feminine designs for New Zealand women since she founded her Stretton Clothing Company in 1992. She’s also an accomplished entrepreneur and philanthropist who is passionate about supporting women to achieve their goals and dreams.

We caught up with Annah to find out more about her newly released winter collection, what inspires her and what you would never catch her wearing!

Tell us about your latest collection?
My Autumn-Winter 2016 collection, Mirror Mirror, acknowledges that what we see each day when we look in the mirror is not the only dimension to who we are – the mirror will always have two faces.  Who we are comes both from within (our thoughts and feelings) and from our behaviours.

Applying a Japanese theme, I have expressed the notion of our chameleon personality by using the Annah Stretton Black and Pink Labels to demonstrate that harmony can be achieved through integrating and celebrating our differences just as they do in Japanese street style.

After almost 25 years in the market, so many women think they know the Annah Stretton brand and what the design flavour is.   I challenge them to take another look, as all is not as it seems with the two new redefinitions of our labels.

The deeper message to Mirror Mirror is the importance we place on self (and the mirror is symbolic of this) relative to the importance that we place on the others that we live among who are different to us.

Do we have the balance right? I think not.  What would our world look like if we simply joined together to advance each other, to celebrate our differences, just as they appear to do in Japan? Perspective is a great thing and respect for each other is another.

What made you become a designer?
My first love was always art – painting, drawing and sculpture. But somewhere along the way, I completed a accountancy degree (and that’s another story!) This eventually lead me into the world of fashion, a creative space which I have thrived in for the last 25 years.

What inspires you? 
My environment.  I get inspiration from this in so many different ways, whether it be music, art  (my first love) movies,  general trends, culture (local and global), or celebrities past and present. They all feature as influencers  when putting a collection together.

Describe your personal style and how it influences your products and brand?
My personal style is a lot cleaner and more pared down, with not so bright colours. I have a huge influence in the Black label, and  it is what I wear every day. The Pink label is the main-stay of the collection, and also a stronger sales platform for us.

Looks from Annah Stretton’s new Mirror Mirror collection.

What is your all-time favourite purchase?
At the moment it’s a current one –  a pair of Anine Bing boots. I’m loving these and being very careful not to thrash them, as I love the new look. (https://www.aninebing.com/collections/boots/products/studded-boots-with-buckles)

What wardrobe item should every woman invest in?
A great black, slightly edgy, timeless and  perfectly fitting  jacket. Our Brenna jacket is a perfect example of this. Update each season. (http://www.annahstretton.co.nz/collections/cardis-and-knits/products/brenna-jacket)

Do you have a style rule you always obey?
I always ensure that the colour of the shoes I am wearing is also reflected in the clothes I have on.

What has been the highlight of your career so far?
RAW and the wonderful work we do, giving visibility and choice to highly recidivist female criminals. (www.raw.org.nz) This has given a real purpose to the many years that have driven the fashion company towards a strong bottom line. Life has got to be about more than material gains and self-acclaim. RAW has certainly enabled this.

What can’t you live without?

My children Sam and Edward – they put the balance and the ‘why’ into my life, and I love them. Now they are 25 and 27, I am so incredibly proud of them as they start to create their own principled journey through life.

Finish this sentence – You would never catch me wearing…
Crocs. Although apparently the Skechers GO walks that I have, are a close second … arghhhhhhh!

Looks from Annah Stretton’s new Mirror Mirror collection.

Images supplied.