Interview: Laurie Foon

Rosanna Price

Success comes in all shapes and sizes and it is our duty to recognise and celebrate these great people, products and events in New Zealand. Fashion, media and marketing are just three things that make Rosanna tick.  She is a writer, wife, dog-lover, and works in the capital city. 

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What is New Zealand fashion? It is a unique coming together of fantasy and fabric, where passion meets practicality and style. It is a force forever growing, changing, evolving and extending its reach far beyond the remote location of our shores.

It is also an impetus for a coming together of people with a common desire of designer fashion.

Rosanna Price will be covering Wellington Fashion Week 2013 on 3-7 April and in the meantime will be bringing you an up-close glimpse of the designers involved.

Starfish is an environmentally friendly designer whose garments are made here in New Zealand. Not only do they focus on high-quality and lasting pieces, but they are passionate about sustainability within their own business model as a responsible employer and manufacturer.

Laurie Foon, the label’s designer and director, answered my questions about this unique fashion-forward brand.

How did you get Starfish up and running into the successful label it is now/ what prompted you?

I was always going to be in a fashion business, right from my first job I knew that I loved this industry. It fitted me like a second skin, and everything I did was leading up to having my own business and label. I took other jobs always to improve my understanding and knowledge base. Then I started small at the market with my sister and re modelling vintage clothes, which we still do a bit of, and then slowly started making new clothes from there. I think I always had a bit of a Sid vicious song on my head ....”I ‘ll do it my way"...I never really enjoyed what the fashion industry at large portrayed to women. I wanted to make sure we stood for a more natural and real way of looking good.

Can you describe the ideal Starfish customer or aesthetic?

The starfish woman tends to be a bit of a queen of extreme really....she is not dictated to by a look or a brand or trends...she has her own mind and idea of what she wants and needs and she is pretty busy . Her clothes need to really work for her as she ends up in so many situations. She often travels and needs a timeless uniqueness in her look. She needs to feel great, fabrics need to perform and feel good, cuts that liberate, colours and prints that are unique.

Why is fashion important to you (as a person)?

Fashion isn't as important to me as your own personal style...this is essentially what we do. Allow and help our clients to find their own personal style that suits them and makes them look and feel truly their own selves. And we all know nothing is better than looking good and feeling good in any situation, not a carbon copy of everyone else that doesn't actually look good on you.

Who are your favourite designers?

My favourite designers......for different things, lately Jill sander and Celine as their simple but dynamic cuts are dominating and showing a fresh contemporary and classic silhouette at the same time. Marc Jacobs because he is fearless, Margaret Howell for her real attitude which stands out from the fashion noise and Dries Van Notten, always amazing fabrics and direction.

Where do you draw inspiration from?

Hmmm never one single source....last season is always a starting point of the best, of as it is a constant evolution, sometimes an art piece, general things we love...and a story....we are always trying to tell a story. And then of course, the cloth; using eco-friendly and natural fabrics sometimes leads you too what will work. At the end of the day this is the deciding factor - what will work, feel awesome and be loved for a long time.

Are you looking forward to Wellington Fashion Week? What is involved and what are the benefits?

I can't wait for wellington fashion week. Welly needs to be on the style schedule or needs its own one. Welly has a different attitude toward style so I am looking forward to seeing how this manifests itself. The benefits are that we don't have to travel and we can be ourselves here.

What is the future looking like for Starfish, any big plans or events coming up?

At WFW we are kicking off our new Brand relaunch of Starfish- New Materialism.

New Materialism celebrates an attitude towards fashion that we have always believed in and followed at Starfish.

We love to have/create beautiful things, but we also care about how they're made, where they're made and what they're made out of.

New Materialism is not about going without material things, but about refocusing our attention on the qualities of things that make them truly beautiful.

It's about celebrating the interconnectedness of things with people, the community, and the environment with the ultimate aim of adding positive lasting value through the creative act of producing something beautiful.

That is what we are working on and committing to for the future.


Starfish will be showing in an individual showcase during Wellington Fashion Week on 5 April.

For more information:

Wellington Fashion Week



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