As part of our Faces of the City series we chat to inspiring people doing great things in their chosen industries. The female power-duo of New Zealand fashion label twenty-seven names certainly fall into that bracket, and we were lucky enough to speak with Anjali Burnett, one half of that duo ahead of the brand's impending opening of the new twenty-seven names shop at Commercial Bay this autumn.
How did you get started in the fashion industry, and what were your goals starting out?
Rachel and I met at primary school in the '90s and we have been best friends ever since. We went to high school and started working on projects together; matching baby blue and baby pink hoodies, wrap skirts, experimenting with blue mascara, making mixtapes, the usual. We went on to study art and fashion respectively and started working together out of our living room in 2006. Our goals were pretty simple: to work as hard as we could and to make things our friends would love.
How has your vision and goals changed since then and what are you most proud of?
Our goals are still essentially the same, whilst doing our best to work to create as little damage to the environment with every fabric choice, trim choice, and production choice we can. We’re most proud of being New Zealand made.
You’re expanding your retail offering to include a store at the soon-to-be open Commercial Bay – why did you choose the city centre?
Our customers are really diverse - from teenagers just starting to discover fashion to university students to corporate workers and creatives. The city centre is home to all of these people, and Commercial Bay is going to be an incredible hub for them to meet.
What can customers expect from the space?
We have designed a store that is part of Little Queen Street, a cute little laneway of shops that embraces local fashion. We're alongside Yu Mei, Elle + Riley and Ingrid Starnes and just across the lane from Superette and Nicole Rebstock. Our space will be welcoming and bright, with friendly staff and beautiful clothes made in New Zealand.
The retail industry is changing so much, why did you think brick and mortar stores are still important in a world now more and more dominated by the convenience of online shopping?
We’re here for providing a tactile experience, a sanctuary in which to immerse and enjoy yourself. We’re so proud of our unique twenty-seven names team - the connections they make with our customers are something we treasure. Online shopping is an experience in its own, but being in-store to see and touch the real thing will always be more special.
What are you most excited about when you open the store at Commercial Bay?
This current collection is one we are so proud of - it might be our favourite ever. We’re so excited to see it showcased in our beautiful new store in Commercial Bay. We’re also looking forward to being just next door to some other made in New Zealand, women-owned businesses like Ingrid Starnes.
"We’re so proud of our unique twenty-seven names team - the connections they make with our customers are something we treasure. Online shopping is an experience in its own, but being in-store to see and touch the real thing will always be more special."
What are your favourite places in the city centre currently – stores, restaurants, bars and why?
We love Amano, Odettes and especially Cassia. Auckland city centre has so many amazing places to eat, and we can’t wait to try all the restaurants that will open as part of ‘Harbour Eats’ on the top floor of Commercial Bay. Stores we love include Fabric, Juliette Hogan, and all the other New Zealand Brands in the Britomart area. Supporting our local NZ brands is so important to us.
And lastly, who are your personal female inspirations?
Our small team of dedicated, hard-working and talented women - they’re artists, students, mothers, musicians, activists, entrepreneurs - and they inspire us daily.