21 Aug 2016

WORLD returns to New Zealand Fashion Week with New York Twang

From Standing Room Only, 1:45 pm on 21 August 2016

“Skidoo, Skeddadle!” A phrase used by depression-era New York cops has informed the title of the latest collection from WORLD, as it returns to New Zealand Fashion Week after a five-year hiatus.

WORLD hit the catwalk in 2011.

WORLD hit the catwalk in 2011. Photo: Supplied


"'Skidoo, skedaddle' is New York slang, which originated from the turn of the century to the 1920s as a bit of a risque fashion put-down,” says Francis Hooper, who latched onto it when he and co-founder Denise L’ Estrange Corbet were in the city on a business trip and spent time around 23rd Street.


At the height of the recession, unemployed men hung around the streets of New York. When trains flew past women on their way to work it sent their skirts and dresses billowing, revealing bare legs and triggering excited hooting and wolf whistles from the crowds of men.


"The women would complain to the cops who would shoo them away with ‘Skidoo, skedaddle’. We’re taking the spirit of that sexiness, the tension and unsolicited attention — we think that’s kinda fun.”  


WORLD’s Spring Summer collection ‘23 Skidoo’ will be on show as part of New Zealand Fashion Weekend as a public ticketed event, rather than showing at the weekday trade event which is exclusively for wholesale buyers and media.


It has become a recent international trend for high-end designers to show ‘in-season collections’: London Fashion Week integrates presentations, curated talks and designer shopping experiences into their week, so that everyday consumers can take part in the event.

WORLD designer, Francis Hooper

WORLD designer, Francis Hooper Photo: Supplied


This year WORLD wanted to take the plunge and have the opportunity to connect with customers who can purchase pieces straight off the rack, rather than waiting for the collection to drop eight months down the track. It will be the first time for the Kiwi designer label to show at New Zealand Fashion Week since 2011 in a long-awaited return to catwalk.


Francis says that it comes down to competing priorities and focusing their energy on expanding other aspects of their business, such as WORLD Beauty. Money is also a factor for an independent label who manufacture their garments locally.


“It costs over $50,000 to put on a show. There’s a lot of work and people involved: make-up and hair, models and working with contractors, [so] it’s very expensive and then it’s over in ten minutes, so we think of it like that.”

World light up the runway at NZFW 2011.

World light up the runway at NZFW 2011 Photo: Supplied


Treading the catwalk this year, WORLD intends to make an impact, “If you’ve come to see our show in a busy Auckland day, we want to give you something delightful that will blow your brains out... in a great way.”


To find out more head to the New Zealand Fashion Week website


Get the RNZ app

for easy access to all your favourite programmes

Subscribe to Standing Room Only

Podcast (MP3) Oggcast (Vorbis)