Interview: Mondegreen's Nicky Cameron

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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Wellington Fashion Week kicked off in the capital last week. Rosanna Price caught up with Nicky Cameron, Design Director at super-cool label Mondegreen.

How did you get Mondegreen up and running / what prompted you?

Mondegreen is an offshoot from established corporate wardrobe supplier, Booker Spalding. Four years ago we decided it was time to utilise our design room skills, the company’s knowledge and in-house facilities – we began to set about creating Mondegreen. We wanted to develop a lifestyle brand which offered beautiful, unique clothing suitable for everyday wear and which was complemented by useful design objects for the home.

Given the way the world is moving, we made the bold decision to launch Mondegreen as an online only store. We celebrated our second birthday at the beginning of March and are now well in to our 5th season.

The Mondegreen collection and prints are all designed inhouse by myself, Liz Ting and Laura Newton King – the homewares are supplied to us from external designer brands from around the world such as Jonathan Adler and Areaware. The homeware is fun but quality based – there is a definite underlying animal theme running through what we have on offer. Our range is largely manufactured on site and all our product is stocked and distributed from our Petone premises in Wellington.  

Can you describe the ideal Mondegreen customer or aesthetic?

Mondegreen is an attitudinal brand, we’re not so focused on an exact demographic. Our customer sings to her own tune, expressing our brand mantra “Free to be Me” through the way she dresses herself and her home. She is online savvy, busy, warm and inviting. She loves unique design, appreciates beautiful quality and she shops things that will last – she is prepared to seek out pieces that are not readily available to complete her look.

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

For me, fashion is about style and style is about self-expression – it’s a brand tool. And although I love the escapist aspect of the fashion world, for me dressing is not about being a fashion victim. It’s about telling your own story and keeping it up-to-date. This means editing your wardrobe carefully and investing wisely – I would rather buy a few good quality pieces that I love and adore and which represent me as a person, than buy something which will end up in the landfill in six months’ time. If a purchase only lasts a season, it’s really not about the wearer.

Who are your favourite designers?

I admire a range of designers: international designers I like include Philip Lim, Ann Demeulemeester and Dries Van Noten (beautiful prints); less formal brands I like include Acne, Rika and Zadig & Voltaire (gorgeous knitwear). And lastly I think Karen Walker has done an amazing job creating a space for New Zealand design on the world stage.

Where do you draw inspiration from?

Mondegreen offers customers a little everyday luxury. We tap into overseas trends but because we are a lifestyle brand we are heavily influenced by the world we live in and our daily requirements  – the garments in our collections are easy to wear pieces designed for daily use. Print inspiration centres on the theme for each collection.

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

This year is our first time at Wellington Fashion Week, and yes, we are very excited about it. Mondegreen is an online only store and WFW is a vehicle whereby we become visible. In the past we have done some amazing photography and have created gorgeous imagery but WFW will be our first catwalk show.

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

Our focus is quite simply to steadily grow the business and our following. We are essentially an online store and because of this we work hard to promote ourselves through digital media – it is also important for us to be visible and from time to time we will appear at events, in retail stores and occasionally we will organise pop-up stores. Just recently we have signed up with Beat PR in Auckland which is really exciting for us – in addition to the Mondegreen label, they are also showing a selection of our homeware.

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