OUR PEOPLE, OUR STORY – THOMAS’S MARLBOROUGH

OUR PEOPLE, OUR STORY

You may have seen a few familiar faces from our store popping up on your social media recently.

Well, so much about who we are and what we do is connected to the place we live and the people who have been a part of our family. We want you to get to know the individuals who make up that family. They have their own stories which we think provides the foundation for the store’s own bigger storytelling experience.

For example, what you may not know, is that many of our new ideas and initiatives – such as our move towards a more sustainable and fair future at the store – is motivated by the values of the people who work here. Our people put their hand up and opted for a paperless office; our people also pushed for better, more effective measures for recycling.

Our personal values should be reflected in the day-to-day operations of the store, and so that’s why many of the brands we stock now are carefully vetted by us personally to ensure that these companies are being friendly to their staff and to their environment.

On that note, we would like to say: thank you. Because we believe that our people are the greatest and best resource we have.

We know them well enough. And so should you…

INTRODUCING: SARAH, Floor Manager, Homewares

“We’ve been really careful with what we’re choosing when we talk to our suppliers; like where it’s come from… ‘Where are your factories? How have the workers  been looked after? ‘That’s important to us, we treat our own people with respect and so should the companies we want to work with. You want to make sure that the company’s people are treated fairly and that their practices are sustainable.”

 

INTRODUCING:  KIM, Men’s Tailoring.

“…I guess my dad had a hugely positive influence on me, he had good values, and he was a local Māori elder from South Westland. A lot of people looked up to him, and I suppose… Well, he was a real… You know? And I don’t think I learned that until he passed on. You appreciate those kinds of things later on.

“I started out in womenswear at Thomas’s, then moved to menswear and absolutely fell in love with the tailoring side of things. I love the customers that come in here. So, and it’s always nice. I actually enjoy more so the ones that are challenged to find something, it’s always rewarding to find them something.”

 

INTRODUCING:  JEMMA, Sales Consultant – Homewares

“I moved to Marlborough to become a winemaker, and that is my background. I was a single parent for 6 years, just doing my thing. And ask any single parent – it’s not easy.

“I love working here at Thomas’s. It’s like a family here. We’ve got a great team and I love the merchandising, and styling the store.”

“But I mean I don’t think people realise that there is a sustainability focus here. With all of the rugs for example that we’d get, they’ve all got the no child labour sticker. Our buyers make sure our suppliers are giving back to
the communities in India.”

“And so for us, everything that we’re trying to source does have a story behind it. And
when you sell something, it’s kind of cool to have the storytelling experience to go along with the item you are buying.”

 

INTRODUCING: TIM, Owner / Operator

“Some of our current staff have been with us for 25 or 35 years. Which is amazing. I used to come in when I was still at high school, and empty the rubbish bins and refill the bags, take the rubbish out, and I used to get $20 a week.

“So some of the staff actually grew up with us, and so we’ve been here a long time too. It’s funny… I guess some of the staff have seen us go from emptying the rubbish bins to now running the store. You can’t really say that about a lot of stores.

“Well obviously, it was a big part of our life, Dad would spend a lot of time here, and we grew up coming to work, and Mum used to work here as well… And of course our grandparents were here as well. So it almost became like another home.

“But our dad Michael was careful not to force the business on us. We didn’t have to take it over. He always said he only wanted us to do it for genuine reasons: “We only want you to come into the business if you think it’s the right thing for you.” He would say. And that was kinda testament to the person he is.

“And that’s how we feel about our own staff – we want them to enjoy being here and feel passionate about what they do.”

 

INTRODUCING: ALISSA, Sales Consultant and Buyer.

“Growing up I looked up to my grandad a lot, he was a really hard working guy. He drove a truck and I wanted to be like him. Ya know, I wanted to be a truck driver, and drive a pink and purple truck around – a big pink and purple stock truck… Haha. But that’s just me. I love the job I have now because I love the people that come into Thomas’s. You get to learn about them, who they are… and they actually become your friends rather than just a customer.”

 

INTRODUCING: Te Ao Rere, Barista, Café

“My name means free spirit in Māori. That’s from my mum’s side. I love working at Thomas’s but eventually I want to go to uni and study psychology. I really want to work with kids when I am older. But you find psychology in everything. Especially working here at the cafe. It’s a people business, and the field is all about behaviour, ya know.

“I think my younger sister has had a really positive influence on me. Because
I’ve kind of helped raise her and because of that she’s also taught me a lot. Yeah. Well, I mean, it sounds really weird, but my dad has worked overseas the majority of our lives. So yeah, it’s kind of been me and my mum with my two little siblings.”

 

INTRODUCING: CALEB, Sales Consultant – JETZ

“I know that people my age tend to move away from Marlborough… but… Hmm. I don’t know. I  really enjoy it here.

“Thomas’s and JETZ has been a great environment for me to work in. It’s pretty much like a big family.

“Plus, people are asking more and more about how their clothes are made nowadays, and we try and only source clothing made from natural fibres – like cotton and linen. I  talk about that a lot. Like the linen shirts are a good example.  And there’s a new brand we’ve got that uses hemp, which is good because it’s even more sustainable than cotton, using less water and chemicals and stuff, which is good.”

“It goes with my own personal philosophy as well, and nowadays I don’t wear clothes with plastic in them.. Just natural fibres like 100% cotton.”

 

INTRODUCING: HANNA, Sales Consultant, JETZ

I am originally from small town in Western Sweden called Borås. My partner is a kiwi guy and I decided to make the move here to Marlborough to be with him a year and a half ago.

I love Marlborough. People here are very, like everyone knows everyone and that’s what I know from growing up as well, living in a small town. Everyone says hi to everyone and everyone’s friendly and smiley, and yeah, I like that a lot, more than a big city where everyone’s stressed and a bit, you know?

“I like working here at JETZ – we keep a good positive vibes going throughout the day. I
think most of the brands that we have are starting to work towards becoming more environmentally friendly as well. Some of them even have a zero waste policy.”

 

INTRODUCING: ROBYN, Fashion Consultant – Womenswear

“I have been at Thomas’s now for 35 years. We  get the same regulars we had when I first started this job coming in still. But since this has become a wine region, there are far more travellers and tourists visiting the store now. Which has been the biggest change, I think.

“Back in those days – it was very strict. There were a lot of rules and formalities. Nowadays it’s much more relaxed and looser, I think.

“One thing I have seen is that everything is wrapped in too much plastic nowadays. Too much! We didn’t have that back in the days. That needs to change.

“But Marlborough is a great place to grow up. Of course, I love the weather here. And my husband is  delightful.”

 

INTRODUCING:  LOTTIE, Café Operator

“I think one of our former staff members influenced me in my confidence a lot. When I first started at Thomas’s a couple of years ago, I was around in menswear, and she really took me under her wing and made me feel a lot more secure in who I am, which was really nice. Something that someone hadn’t really done for me before, which was very cool.

“In hospitality, we have such short time, maybe three minutes with our customers, in between serving them and giving them their coffee. So if you’re doing it with a smile and a bit of enthusiasm, it can make a difference to someone’s day.”


INTRODUCING: YVETTE, Office Manager

“At Thomas’s they’ve have moved to an entirely paperless office. For example, we used to post out all our statements, now we email them. Things like that. We recycle all the cardboard from our deliveries and have moved in a completely sustainable direction.

“I’ve learned in life that you got to stand up for yourself, because no one else will. But my grandmother was a hugely positive influence on me growing up. My mum died when she was very young, but my grandma taught me cooking and sewing and you know, doing all the girly stuff.

She was a really lovely lady. She would always say : ‘You have just got to try as hard as you can. Make the most out of life. Be happy with what you do.’ She had a hard life, as they do growing up in the, you know, 20s, 30s.”

 

INTRODUCING: HAMISH, Owner / Operator

“When we partner with other brands, and as a buyer we always ask two key questions: What are they doing for the planet?  And how do they treat their staff? Personally, I cannot expect our customers to believe in the brands we stock if I don’t believe in them myself.  That’s key to the direction we want to take the business – and we have to look in the mirror and ask ourselves: what are our values? Are we doing enough to change things for the better.”

“But I think… as an owner sometimes the best thing you can do is just to be quiet and listen to what people have to say. You gain trust and respect by listening not talking.  We are tight knit family business, and the staff are so important to us. You do become close to them. You become their mentors, you become their career advisor you. I like seeing people succeed outside of the walls of Thomas’s.”

 

INTRODUCING: FRANCES, Assistant Manager -Fashion Department.

“I have been at Thomas’s for 19 years. I started out at the Picton store part time and was there for around two years before moving into Blenheim.

You have incredible relationships with some of the people you deal with, and it’s really satisfying if you’ve got a customer who’s really comfortable coming to you. Sometimes they might have challenges with weight or skin issues or something and they come to you, they look out for you because they know that they’ll be treated in a sensitive way. And it’s really rewarding to see.

“Sometimes you get a woman who’s like a size 16, and quite often these women have got beautiful figures, you know, beautiful hourglass figures. And it’s so nice to be able to put them in something shows their real beauty.”

 

Big massive thanks to David James Photography for taking on the project of chronicling our history and culture. Expect more on the story of Thomas’s Marlborough – COMING SOON.

Embracing winter layers on an outing with Admire

 

Thomas's winter layering with Admire

There’s something downright exciting about a sudden chill in the air, making you reach for your favourite sweater, that marks the changing season. Fast forward a month, and dressing well for winter is imperative for those wanting to get out and make the most of frosty recreation. Outfits have to multitask in fluctuating temperatures, functioning for both your cold morning battle scraping an ice-licked windscreen and the subsequent stop at the warm haven of the local cafe. Tempting as it is to forgo fashion to focus on comfort, there is a way to dress cosily for winter and look fabulous doing it. A little visual inspiration goes a long way. Our latest photo shoot with Admire magazine showcases our warmest, comfiest pieces and how they can be worn this season to make you the snug, stylish cold-weather warrior you were meant to be.

In another stunning collaboration with photographer David James, and stylist – Thomas’s own Ingrid Binsted-Pickering, our fashion shoot follows local models Fenella Smith and Josh Thomas as they eke out every last bit of open-air adventure despite the arrival of chilly autumn breezes. Ingrid says the idea for the photo shoot emerged out of, “staff members talking about what they would do on the weekends with their kids, partners, and friends – walks out at the Wairau lagoons, out to Pelorus Bridge, Picton and Marfells beach.” She adds that there was interest in, “how to be comfy, warm and casual but still look cool,” during cooler months.

Armoured with chunky knits and lots of layers, we set our models to explore Marlborough’s natural playgrounds, using White’s Bay, Rarangi, and Monkey Bay as backdrops. Our couple appear dressed in this season’s favoured wardrobe colours, clearly inspired by the transitioning landscape that surrounds them. Hues of khaki and forest green, rich navy, deep copper orange, mustard yellow and ox-blood burgundy feel like the right choice for venturing through the countryside on these cold but striking days.

Ingrid’s key to dressing this stylishly clad couple is working with clever layers. Conquer the flux of temperatures our Marlborough winters offer by adding or removing layers throughout the day to maintain the right temperature as you dart from warm interiors to nippy walks outdoors. It needn’t be complicated: just start with a Mons Royale, Icebreaker or similar merino piece for a soft, thin, warm base that can be worn close to the skin on its own or under chunky knits. Next, add layers with the huge range of long sleeve tees, plaid shirts, coats, puffers and knits from Commoners, RPM and Huffer we see coming through our doors.

Cosy winter fashion with Thomas's and Admire

It’s important to mix texture and colour as you layer for warmth on top while maintaining basic staples – a good pair of jeans for instance, on bottom. Nudie or G-star RAW’s new Lank jean work perfectly – chic and casual on a weekend wander partnered with a Huffer vest, resurging this season with newly released colours for men and women, worn over a long sleeve tee. Your winter wardrobe should let you feel stylishly relaxed and comfortable in whatever task you find yourself embarking on, be it a winter hike, ski weekend, or cosy dinner out.

If you’d like to see how easy finding the right layers can be, stop in to see one of our friendly staff who will be happy to help or have a look online for some ideas. Even if you’re just looking to add to your winter wardrobe, we have new styles and colours this season that are sure to work with your trusty favourites and give them a new lease on life.

 

Photography: David James

Stylist: Ingrid Binsted-Pickering

Makeup Artist: Amber-Louise Connor

Hair Stylist: Lizzie Nott

Models: Fenella Smith & Josh Thomas

Feast Marlborough and the Saint Clair Half Marathon coincide for one lively weekend

 

Saint Clair Vineyard Half with Thomas's - MarlboroughNZ.com

One weekend in autumn draws a huge crowd to Marlborough, but not for the vineyard rows turning spectacular shades of crimson, amber and gold against clear blue skies. It’s the chance to participate in a wildly popular event that delivers an intimate way to sightsee Marlborough’s vineyards: the Saint Clair Vineyard Half Marathon. Thomas’s joins the excitement again as an official sponsor of the event on May 13th for another sell-out year. There are lots of ways Thomas’s will be participating in the weekend events, starting with extended store hours to include Sunday following the race.

Icebreaker at Thomas's

The Saint Clair half-marathon has been drawing entrants throughout New Zealand for over ten years. This year, guests travelling to Marlborough will be treated to an added bonus, the launch of the newest foodie festival in the country, Feast Marlborough. The inaugural event takes place the same weekend as the half-marathon, celebrating Marlborough as a producer of fresh, local delicacies and world-class wines in a series of mini-events.

Feast Marlborough with Thomas's

Pork bao buns with Thomas's for Feast Marlborough's street party

Friday kicks off Feast Marlborough’s three day celebration with a street food fair right outside the store, where our own Thomas & Sons Café will join other local food producers and restaurants to show off the region’s best fare with amazing street food in downtown Blenheim (3pm–7pm). Renowned chef Martin Bosley is leading the charge and there will be incredible seafood, Asian pork-belly bao buns (that’s us!), Mexican and other delicious street food on offer. Turn up, enjoy some late-night shopping – Thomas’s will be open until 7pm – enjoy a great meal, and get your weekend off on the right foot. Saturday night’s Feast Marlborough offering gives the half-marathon participants a chance to celebrate their efforts with several venues hosting unique dining options, and finally Sunday closes with a collaborative brunch. What better way to celebrate the mum in your life (Sunday is Mother’s Day after all!).

If you need a bit of inspiration for what to wear on the big day, check out our range online and make us your first stop for insider knowledge on the best fashion, from competition time to kicking up your heels. Mons Royale and Icebreaker offer great options for Marlborough’s fluctuating temperatures that will see you through a cold morning start to a heated finish on race day. We also carry the latest from KowTow, Karen Walker, Ted Baker, Ketz-ke and more, for an instant uplift after you peel off running gear and join the celebrations.

See you on Friday night for the street food party, Saturday at the finish line, or come and see us in store on Sunday for a relaxed shop, coffee and brunch.

Best of luck to all the competitors, whether it’s your first time or your tenth. You’ve got this!

Thomas’s opening hours for the Saint Clair Vineyard Half Marathon & Feast Marlborough weekend

Friday

  • Shop: 9.00am – 7.00pm
  • Café: 8.00am – 7.00pm

Saturday

  • Shop: 10.00am – 4.00pm
  • Café: 8.30am – 3.00pm

Sunday

  • Shop: 10.00am – 3.00pm
  • Café: 8.30am – 2.00pm

Photograph of Marlborough vines: MarlboroughNZ.com

Love letters and magazines – a photo shoot with Lonely and Admire

 

Moody lighting, the sound of Billie Holliday’s velvety voice crooning down the hallway of a vintage theatre – that’s the ambience of our latest photo shoot with Admire magazine.

The photo shoot was a collaboration between Thomas’s stylist Ingrid Binsted-Pickering and photographer David James – setting the scene for Lonely lingerie. “Lonely is such a feminine, comfort, feel-good label. With beautiful cuts, romantic colours, the lace and straps – it’s something quite unique and special in comparison to your regular lingerie,” says Ingrid, who was inspired by 1930s Paris and young starlets getting ready backstage. Featuring local dance teachers and dancers Gemma Adams and Elly Molloy, with the Boathouse Theatre as backdrop, brought its own local charm to this set.

New Zealand-based design house Lonely is an advocate for real women, celebrating their strength and individuality. Finding beauty in the unconventional gave rise to their Lonely Girls Project, a journal that allows women to post candid photos of themselves wearing Lonely, with no touch ups. The result is a series of portraits where the natural, unrestricted beauty of women from all walks of life is proudly displayed without an ounce of inhibition; it’s a poignant campaign for positive body image. Add to it the fact that their designs are incredibly comfortable, and you can see why women are so passionate about this label. At Thomas’s this range is hugely popular with customers of all ages. In the words of Lonely designer Helene Morris, Lonely is:

“For women who wear lingerie as a love letter to themselves.”

Bringing to life our favourite labels is what Ingrid does best, for this spread designing a theatrical scene to showcase our two starlets, as they prepare backstage for the spotlight. Choosing such an intimate label for this magazine spread was an obvious choice for Ingrid, who calls it, “a fashion piece to be worn and seen. The minute the girls put the lingerie on they were in love with the comfort and femininity of it.” Paired with luxe robes by Cathy Campbell, you can see why these are pieces meant to be shown off.

The Lonely shoot appears in Admire’s latest edition, out 7 April – and the second to last Marlborough edition before it merges with the Nelson/Tasman spread. Working with Admire has been a dream, as they highlight local talent, entertainment and foodie culture as well as giving insight into who’s who and what’s what in Marlborough. Get your copy now.

The Lonely range is available in-store at Thomas’s – take a cue from our shoot and become your own Lonely Girl.

Lonely at Thomas's by David James Photography

Photographer: David James

Stylist: Ingrid Binsted-Pickering

Makeup Artist: Grace Simpson

Hairdresser: Ashleigh Nott

Models: Gemma Adams & Elly Molloy

Robes by Cathy Campbell https://www.facebook.com/Cathy-Campbell-1539029719670100/?ref=ts&fref=ts

Special thanks to the Boathouse Theatre for the use of backstage.

 

Built to last – a new and an old favourite for Slow Fashion: Nudie Jeans & Kowtow

Nudie Jeans and Thomas's for Slow Fashion

Slow fashion for men

Swedish label Nudie Jeans has officially arrived at Thomas’s. This is a brand that aligns itself closely with the emerging slow-fashion movement, where quality takes precedence over quantity, timeless before trendy. Nudie Jeans joins some incredible labels that we have carried over the years who strive to make eco-friendly clothing that will stand the test of time through classic designs, organic materials, and superior craftsmanship.

Nudie Jeans at Thomas's

Nudie jeans is a label born from an absolute adoration of denim, from the way the fabric is made right down to the life and feel it takes on as it ages. If you’ve ever owned a favourite pair of jeans that’s lasted for years, known the way the soft fit feels like slipping into a second skin, then you understand the sort of experience Nudie Jeans aims to provide. But they know that experience doesn’t happen straight off the shelf; this is familiarity and maturity that can only happen over time. The mindset is that a good pair of jeans carries “history in every rip and repair, like pages in a diary.” Nudie jeans reflects you as an individual over time, meaning they need to be built to last.

Nudie Jeans from Sweden at Thomas's

Of course, Nudie jeans takes the task of building durable jeans to the highest level, using only organic cotton and insisting on production that is fair and transparent, a small step that hugely influences the quality of the final product. These are jeans that don’t care what the current trend is, instead focusing on how you feel and look in them. Once you’ve met your perfect pair, the company even offers repair kits to keep them a part of your wardrobe through the long haul. You will also see that they recycle and resell their older gear, yet another commitment to the eco-friendly nature of their label. It’s a mindset that feels good to wear.

A good pair of jeans carries “history in every rip and repair, like pages in a diary.”

Slow fashion for women

While we’re on the path of looking at labels that aim to make sustainable fashion, one of our absolute favourites is Kowtow. Kowtow slows the fashion world right down with their building block basics; timeless, multifunctional pieces like skirts that untangle to become shirts or simple dresses that layer under or over the louder collection pieces. Kowtow has been creating clothing that doesn’t just physically last, but escapes the need to be trendy with time-honoured classics you will wear over and over.

Kowtow at Thomas's

Kowtow evolved under the passionate guidance of Wellingtonian, Gosia Piatek. She found her niche in the fashion industry with a simple insistence that whatever she created, it had to be done ethically and sustainably. Kowtow has stuck to that, becoming certified Fairtrade and sustainable “from seed to garment”. By using only certified organic cotton and truly involving themselves in every stage of the line’s production, this is a label making waves on an international level for slow fashion.

There is beautiful structure even to Kowtow’s most basic pieces, sometimes voluminous with layered sleeves or generously wide pant legs, while at other times slouchy, flowy and relaxed.

There is beautiful structure even to Kowtow’s most basic pieces, sometimes voluminous with layered sleeves or generously wide pant legs, while at other times slouchy, flowy and relaxed. These are elements that make the line timeless; starting with simple, high-quality material and transforming it into a work of art through nothing more than shape and cut. Kowtow’s clothing is so incredibly multifunctional, dressing up or down with ease, that you find a million ways to wear one piece over the years. What’s amazing is how Kowtow manages to make every detail a signature of their philosophy embracing simplicity, durability and sustainability, from fabric and stitch to beautiful hemp buttons.

Kowtow comfort and style at Thomas's

You’ll never regret choosing classic pieces in high quality fabric with traditional cuts, which is why the slow fashion movement is gaining traction and guiding people away from fast fashion. So, if you’ve been wanting to slow your own world down a little and get off the treadmill, come in and see how these labels look and feel in person. It might just be the beginning of a journey with a piece you’ll be wearing for years to come.

Fall Trend Scouting with Thomas’s Stylist, Hamish

Fall trends with Thomas'sA new season is as exciting as it gets for the fashion world, and fall fashion is one of the most anticipated of them all. With so many layering opportunities, there’s a real chance to mix tried and true favourites with fresh-faced trends.

There’s a lot coming through our doors right now in preparation for that shift, and I’m already loving this season’s colourful ponchos and high-neck knitwear in fine merino and cashmere, all showing beautifully in charcoals, classic navy and blacks with highlights in bright yellows, brilliant leaf green and red. Caroline Sills and Kowtow are making an especially good case for grabbing something cosy to put on, as is Gestuz, below.

Fall trends at Thomas's

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Paired with trendy high-waisted jeans sporting a worn look with holes and rips, it’s a memorable look to bring on a season that celebrates evenings by the fire, hot cups of tea in bed, and as much hygge as you can squeeze into a weekend.

Along with go-to knits for the season, here are some wishlist-worthy trends coming to Thomas’s:

Florals and prints– Still right at the front of the trend, from Tuesday’s sweet stitched florals (below left in the Amy dress) and boldly coloured stripes to colourful geometric birds adorning Karen Walker’s distinctive line (below right). We’re loving florals and prints, whether it’s an embellishment or the whole nine yards.


Tuesday Amy dress at Thomas'sKaren Walker Lugubrious dress at Thomas's

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bomber Jackets- Continuing with the floral and print motif, be prepared to arm yourself for cold weather with a chic bomber jacket, still popular this season with soft satins and floral motifs decorating the arms and back, as seen on Tuesday’s bomber jacket below.

 

Tuesday bomber at Thomas's

 

Detailed Sleeves-  You’re going to notice that detailed sleeves are embellishing classic styles with a fun, flirty signature look across the range, in the form of frills (Tuesday’s Zena dress); ruffles (Kate Sylvester’s Damaris dress below right); floral motifs; and cut-out details like this from Gestuz, below left.

Fall trends at Thomas's

Kate Sylvester Damaris dress at Thomas's

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Black Denim-  Black is still at the top, but 90s styles take the lead, moving away from ultra-skinny legs and onto straighter cuts with high waists. Ksubi (below), Diesel and G-Star deliver the perfect look for this trend.

Ksubi black jeans at Thomas's

‘Jogg Jean’- If you haven’t heard about Jogg jeans, your life is about to get way more comfortable. Once you put them on, they are like wearing a favourite pair of sweats disguised as jeans. Made from a sweatshirt-like material, they combine comfort with style. Diesel ‘Jogg’ jeans have been around for a few years, but they are quickly changing the face and feel of denim. (See two of our new styles below.) Once they’re on, you’ll never want to take them off.

Diesel Jogg jean at Thomas's

Diesel Jogg jeans at Thomas's

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wide Legs, Culottes and Skirts-  Wide leg pants (see below right from Gestuz) and silhouette-changing culottes are making a big statement this season. Finishing at the ankle, they beautifully pair with ankle booties and chunky knits on top (like this look from Caroline Sills below left). Of course, high hitting boots, just below the knee or just over, are making a comeback too, pairing perfectly with the parade of skirts coming through our doors. Maxi, circular, or pencil skirt; it doesn’t matter as long as it’s comfortable.

Fall Trends at Thomas'sFall Trends at Thomas's

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t forget updating your work wardrobe adds a little excitement to the daily routine. It may be as simple as adding a few new tailored shirts, cool blue or classic white, or one of our gorgeous jackets.

And there are always accessories to transform your old favourites – a new bag, scarf and the right colour lipstick can update a beautiful black dress in a moment. From the ever popular Deadly Ponies come these two beauties.

Deadly Ponies handbags at Thomas'sDeadly Ponies handbags at Thomas's

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of course, the best trend is the one that suits you. Check out our new fall range online or stop in store to try these trends and discover more ideas.

All this season’s best,

Hamish

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Q+A with Zambesi’s Liz Findlay

Liz Findlay from Zambesi talking to Thomas's

Liz Findlay by Marissa Findlay

 

One of the pleasures of working in a business like Thomas’s is bringing the best clothing and designs in the world for our customers to shop right here in Marlborough. Forming enduring relationships with the creative forces behind these designs is another pleasure. Working with Elisabeth and Neville Findlay from Zambesi which the husband and wife team founded in 1979 has always been a delight. Liz has kindly agreed to answer a few of our questions about the art and inspiration behind this leading NZ brand and its creators.

 

Q. You place great value in your clothing being entirely New Zealand made. How have you managed to sustain this while other designers have had to look overseas?

First of all we are very proud that we are New Zealand made. This is a commitment we made early on and we are determined to continue on this path. There are challenges and consequences, however, this is something that is very important to us at Zambesi. We have a workroom in Newton, Auckland which is a very creative environment for many sets of skills required to pattern and construct our garments.  

Q. How can we try to preserve, or re-introduce, specialist manufacturing and machinist skills in this country? How important is this?

By encouraging young people with the desire to make garments to take this on as a career move we could build a stronger manufacturing base. The construction of garments is an art and I feel it has been undervalued for some time.

 

The construction of garments is an art and I feel it has been undervalued for some time.

 

Q. We’ve heard you say you find inspiration in the fabric itself. Where else do you find inspiration – from your travels or from friends, people you meet?

I am continually inspired by the talented, creative staff around me in the workroom and our Zambesi stores. They are all individuals who wear the brand in their own way, keeping it real. We are so fortunate to have a loyal following which has been built over the years and this is inspirational as it continues to provide the challenge to create.    

Q. Do you have a particular Zambesi muse? What does she embody?

Not really a particular muse! I find myself thinking about what I would like to wear, or see being worn. Pieces that may be missing from my own wardrobe and re-creating pre-loved garments from the archive.

Q. You’ve been producing Zambesi collections for more than thirty years. Do you have a favourite collection from these years or does each new collection become your favourite?

I don’t think I have a favourite collection and in fact I think we have produced one great big collection that is ongoing.

Q. What is your favourite piece from the Spring/Summer 2016/17 collection?

I love to mix things up a little so that would mean several pieces!

 

 

Q. Who in the world would you most like to see wearing Zambesi?

Anyone with an imagination – head in the clouds, feet on the ground.

Q. Favourite spot in New Zealand?

Home! Anywhere with the family!

Q. Favourite city in the world?

I do love Paris! I am so lucky that I go twice a year to buy imports for our stores, so that is like going shopping for others which satisfies my desire to choose things.

Q. Who would you love to invite to dinner and what would you serve?

Leonard Cohen – something Greek!

Q. Favourite designer of all time – past or present?

Hard to choose! Maybe Martin Margiela.

Q. Any words you try to live by?

Don’t be afraid

Never give up

There is a crack in everything – that’s how the light gets in.