Fashion designer Dame Trelise Cooper says the theft of her entire 2021 Spring and Summer samples at the weekend represents hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of work.
Around 1800 items were stolen from Dame Trelise's Auckland showroom.
Dame Trelise told First Up that the items were stolen some time between 4pm Saturday and Monday morning.
"We had staff working on the new collection coming out this week and so they were working overtime on Saturday to make sure that was finished... when everybody came to work (on Monday morning) that it was noticed that all of the sample garments had gone, the sample garments were from the Spring/Summer collection, not the Winter collection that they're working on."
She said all the Spring and Summer collection samples had been worked on during the nationwide Covid-19 lockdown.
Dame Trelise added the Spring and Summer collections had been sold to retailers but the samples in her workshop were still being used for promotional and charity work.
"I think one of the saving graces is that we've sold this collection but it just means we are left with... it's probably hundreds of thousands of dollars that represent those collections."
Dame Trelise said she does not suspect the theft was an inside job as the door the thieves used to enter the building was thought by staff to be an air vent.
She is encouraging anyone who sees her items for sale on trade or market place websites to make sure it has a care label on it as that will distinguish whether it is a stolen garment or not.