We are an affordable New Zealand made fashion label specifically made and designed for New Zealand women by New Zealand women.
We design clothing to be worn and loved with a focus on creating timeless pieces that last with a point of difference to make the wearer feel amazing. Versatility is a key focus for us – we know how good it is to be able to change up a look and want to create styles that can be worn time and time again.
We now have 17 boutiques throughout New Zealand, (including our online boutique) and most importantly, a large loyal community of customers (our KILTies) that share and believe in exactly what we do.
Melissa Williams always knew she wanted to be a fashion designer and as a young girl she used to rummage through vintage shops and analyse how garments were made. Mel completed her fashion studies in New Zealand and while studying worked in retail, so knew exactly what it took to provide a great experience.
During her time managing a fashion boutique in Wellington, Mel noticed a gap in the market for affordable New Zealand made clothing; clothing that was made with the New Zealand women's figure in mind. She was over having to tell women where they could get their overseas garments tailored so that they would fit them perfectly.
This resulted in Mel working day and night creating her collection. While working on her designs, one of Mel's very first screen prints was of a Kilt pin. Her friend who was studying marketing at the time decided to hit the streets with this image and asked people what came to mind when they saw this. "KILT" was named (there is no Scottish heritage; funnily enough the one thing we are not allowed to make are Kilts)! From here, Mel pitched to buyers and KILT was born!
After wholesaling KILT for a few years, Mel realised that she wanted more control over the whole process and so decided to open her first boutique near her hometown at 68 George St, Palmerston North. As Mel designed and created in the small loft area of the boutique, it meant she was able to hear how her customers felt about each garment and could hear what they were asking for. To this day what our KILTies tell us in terms of fit and feedback is essential to our design process.
Our Design Team take inspiration and feedback from our customers and staff to create pieces that are timeless. They sketch out the design and brainstorm what fabrics would best be suited to get the whole picture on what the design could end up being. Our designers then begin the pattern drafting process!
Once a pattern has been drafted, the designers make their own wearabilty sample in one of the chosen fabrics. This is then worn and washed over a 2-3 week period to ensure the style and fabric wears well and that everyone in the Design Room is coveting it. A final sample is thenmade by our sample machinist.
The chosen fabrics are sent to Auckland along with the pattern and final sample to be cut and sorted into colour and size bundles. These are then sewn in New Zealand and moved through quality checking and pressing before being folded and boxed (not individually wrapped). The final garments are then allocated and sent out to our boutiques.