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April 6, 2009 | by  | in Opinion |
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An Interview with Cybele

Since her first show at Fashion Week 2008, Cybéle Wiren has quickly become a popular contender in the New Zealand fashion industry, not to mention abroad! Her label, Cybéle, has become synonymous with luxury, aesthetic excellence, and creative vision. Mava chats to miss Wiren about her most recent collection, the fashion industry, and upcoming plans for the label.

Hey thanks for taking the time to chat! In what ways do you think you have developed as a designer since your first collection?

My confidence as a designer has grown since my first ever mini collection. Each season presents opportunities to work with new materials and technologies which in turn influence my design. We now design and commission all our prints and increasingly more of the actual textiles and materials which make the collections more involved and special.

This winter’s collection has a certain familiarity in its rich colour palette and decadent fabrics—what are your motivations behind Halcyon?

Halcyon refers to the calm period of legend in the midst of a turbulent winter. The Halcyon bird is a kingfisher that builds its nest on the surface of the ocean, charming the winds and waves so that seas remain calm during the fourteen days preceding the winter solstice.

As an artist, is the design process or end product most important for you?

I don’t consider the process and the end product as separate as neither can exist without the other.

What has the response been since fashion week 08/09? (Overseas interest?)

The Halcyon collection has had an excellent response from our existing and new customers in NZ, Australia, Japan, Hong Kong, the Middle East and the US with continued steady growth in sales and a record number of re-orders since the collection has been in store over the past few weeks.

The New Zealand fashion industry, as you know, is relatively small. Do you feel this is an advantage or disadvantage as a designer?

I think the relatively small scale of the fashion industry in New Zealand gives us the incentive to become involved in the much larger international fashion world which can only be a good thing.

What skills have you acquired that you feel are necessary in this line of work?

Being involved in every aspect of the business from its inception I have learnt and acquired skills in every area from design and pattern making, to the business planning and strategy.

Can you update us on what you’re doing in terms of your label at the moment?

We have just finished our 14th collection and are currently working on concepts and fabric developments for collection 15 which will be on show at Air New Zealand Fashion Week in September. And as part of winning the Air New Zealand Export Development Award, I’ll be travelling to Tokyo later in the year visiting our agents and stores.

Six Things We Didn’t Know About Cybéle Wiren

1. What is your favourite virtue? Honesty

2. Top three movies? Bladerunner is one of few movies I’d enjoy watching more than once, The Labyrinth and The Never Ending Story for their sentimental value of childhood fantasy.

3. What is one of your favourite inventions? The camera

4. Top 3 guilty pleasures? Episode after episode of The Wire, staying up late and sleeping in, various shopping addictions…once it was shoes, currently its baby clothes!

5. What scares you? Anything big with teeth that can’t be reasoned with—Sharks terrify me.

6. What are you tips for poor university students wanting to look good this season?

Be selective and invest in quality over quantity, pieces that will stand the test of time.

Big thanks to Cybéle for her time and a special thank you to Chris Lorimer and his team at Mint Condition.

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