NZFW ’17 | Interview | Marc Moore, Stolen Girlfriends Club Designer

Ahead of his highly-anticipated New Zealand Fashion Week show tonight, I sat down with creative director Marc Moore to talk about the iconic Stolen Girlfriends Club brand, following your instincts and how they stay relevant in an ever-changing industry.

The Stolen Girlfriends Club show is always more of a rock concert than anything else. Loud music, a dark warehouse, and stage-diving isn’t out of the question. Can we expect the same this year with ‘Safer Than Heaven’? Do you aim for that shock value, or is this just Marc Moore at play?

Haha yes there has been stage-diving at a previous show, but that was our 10-year anniversary so it was important to do something a little bold. We don’t really look to shock anyone with our shows, it’s more a matter of entertaining people. We’re not couture designers and therefore the night is not only about the clothes – creating an electric atmosphere is integral to making our show both enjoyable and memorable. This year’s show will be no different, we have an amazing off-site venue and we’re now at full capacity on RSVP’s which is great!

Running a fashion label requires a certain level of business intelligence and clearly you’re doing something right, does the business side of things come naturally to you? How has the NZ Post helped you this year?

We’re very entrepreneurial when it comes to business, especially myself with not having attended university. So a lot of what we do is based on instinct, and almost all of our decisions are based on the brand rather than the business because there’s a bigger picture to consider. We have some great partnerships with some amazing brands and we feel really blessed to work with such accomplished people! The New Zealand Post is our newest crush – and we’re still in the honeymoon phase haha. I really like our partnership because the NZ Post are quite literally helping us move our product. They have great expertise which we can fall back on with our distribution both locally and globally –  something we’ll be amping up big time in 2018.

In the last couple of the years there’s been this debate over whether fashion weeks are still relevant – they clearly don’t serve the same purpose as they did a decade ago, especially with the ever growing see-now-buy-now culture. How do you ensure that presenting at New Zealand Fashion Week is still worthwhile for the SGC brand? Do you see its relevance?

Yeah totally. We changed tact around three years ago and now all of our shows are in-season so the customers can buy a lot of the stuff they see on the runway. What we like to do to keep things exciting and fresh for the media (who have already seen the collection) is to style the in-show pieces and use pieces from the next collection as well. It’s almost like a mash-up of seasons so there’s something for both consumer and media.

 

There’s been an exciting new wave of young kiwi designers with the likes of Harman Grubisâ and Wynn Hamlyn, but there’s something to be said for a designer who’s been in the industry for over 10 years like you have. Do you think you’re in your prime right now as a brand? Is there a sense of “I could do this with my eyes closed”, or does the industry keep surprising you?

Haha I’m not sure! I still feel like such a rookie and this industry is so challenging – even after 12 years. It’s relentless. Everyday we are learning and trying to improve our business and brand.

It’s a word that’s overused, but “edgy” fashion for women – that deconstructed look that’s part grunge and part luxe, has made its way back into mainstream fashion: leather, distressed fabrics, graphic tees, oversized hoodies. Brands like Off-White and designers like Demna Gvasalia are blurring the lines between appropriate and inappropriate dress codes. This clearly suits the SGC woman, have you noticed a trickledown effect in the way kiwi women are dressing at the moment?

I don’t think I’ve really noticed any trickle-down yet. We’ve always done ripped jeans and ripped tees and hoodies, and they’ve always sold well so it’s definitely nothing new for us and our market. The leather category for us is a great one, it’s one of our strongest fashion categories and I’ve definitely seen this side of the brand enticing a slightly larger market – perhaps that’s the trickle-down!

And lastly, if you could summarize the ‘Safer Than Heaven’ collection in one sentence….

An androgynous collection that is both tough & sexy at the same time, D.I.Y. detailing and strong graphics with a nod to the 90s.