In the age of #gifted, what are people spending their own money on? Seven editors show Ensemble the receipts and share a recent, and genuine, style-related purchase.
“I’m obsessed with discovering Māori and indigenous makers; my Instagram feed is mostly individuals and small businesses that make beautiful things inspired by their culture, not necessarily traditional art forms but there are plenty of those. I’m attracted to the spirit of tino rangatiratanga these creators imbue in their work, there’s an independence from trends and mass culture I love, a by-us-for-us attitude, especially from the young ones.
The last item of clothing I bought was a tee from a brand called Karaoke Superstars aka Rosette Hailes-Paku from Ōtepoti. It’s a massive, one-size-fits-no one, neon, tie-dye explosion in a really heavy but breathable fabric. It just has the perfect weekend slouch to it, I love it so much.
Nash Karaitiana, U.R.A and Xoe Hall are other young streetwear designers to look out for.”
“I recently acquired a Pocari Sweat jumper from Public Space, and can’t stop wearing it which is a challenge as the weather is getting really hot. This is my favourite soft drink in Japan, sort of like a Powerade equivalent I suppose. I’ve always loved the branding on their bottles and cans, so to have it on a hoodie is a dream for me. All of Public Space’s stuff is quite garish and has a strong ‘90s vibe – inspired by ‘90s video-games, and Windows 95 and so on. Formative years for me.”
“I have a body that I describe lovingly as being built like a brick shithouse – tall, broad, good in a storm… and quite often a nightmare to buy clothes for. However, whoever Kate Sylvester’s fit model is, I want to kiss them on their beautiful face because she is one of the few designers that doesn’t make me feel like Godzilla trying to masquerade as a human woman.
“I buy, on average, one Kate Sylvester dress every two years and I bought this one for my 35th birthday this year. They work for every season and every occasion and also, every salesperson I have ever dealt with has been a DELIGHT.”
“I’m kind of a sucker for a printed T-shirt and love this one from Garden Objects. With a photograph by Xu Jing featuring the work of Fjura aka London-based florist Simone Gooch, this tee is like band merch for flower fans.”
“Most of my clothing is either NUKU or Ihumātao branded tees, singlets and hoodies, reflective of the two kaupapa I lead, and basic unlabelled clothing pieces from department stores. What I prefer to splurge on are hand-crafted pieces that I can wear daily, with any outfit. My favourites include a taonga made by Hera Johns named ‘Māmā’ that I bought as a gift to myself in recognition and celebration of my femininity. It is uniquely made with uku/clay and is special to me because it reflects the stage of my life I am in right now.
“The second piece is a heru made from wood and gold gravograph, designed and made by Nichola Te Kiri. I bought it at the Kāhui Collective Britomart pop-up store earlier this year, which featured six top Māori fashion designers.”
“The last thing I bought was this gorgeous 1930s day bag made with olive green and cream wooden beads. It was from a vintage sale held on Waiheke by the now defunct – but always incredible – Victorian Gilt, which was selling off the most incredible range of fabrics, jewellery, textiles and vintage garments (including Edwardian waistcoats and Victorian cotton nighties which would be so cool right now worn with chunky sandals or biker boots). This bag has a Prada-esque feel and I love its petite size, perfect for summer outings when all you need is a lipstick, credit card and your phone.”
“I have a rule to never give money to a store with bad service (a rule that broke my nearly 13-year-old’s heart on the weekend as I walked out of store upon store refusing to purchase anything for his birthday. Shout out to Route 66 for being the only tween store with staff who engage with customers). On the flipside, I have completely overwhelming out-of-body tendencies to give stores with good service All My Money. I attended the Karen Walker Hotel Britomart store opening last week with no intention of buying anything. Until Greta of Together Journal walked in wearing the cutest sundress I’ve ever seen, which also happened to be on the store mannequin. Hypnotically good service ensued and I walked out with the last one in my size in the country. Feel a little sick about it, to be honest, given I have no income. But I feel like a commitment to supporting local retailers is something I should be applauded for, not made to feel guilty over. Right?”