Designer Profile

Kylie Tate knows that her’s is a classic fashion story. Her label Redhead was launched from humble beginnings in 2000: cutting on the dining room table, marketing from the spare bedroom, with a baby in the basket at her feet. She even confesses to the odd ‘nappy brain’ moment (rushing to a meeting leaving the baby in her carseat – luckily the business partner was on to it!). But both the baby and the business have thrived.

Kylie also knows that years of rag trade experience gave her a retail nose that meant she could respond quickly when the economic climate began to change.

“We can source really fabulous fabrics here exclusively, so it means we can put our own handwriting through a range, quickly. That gives us an edge,” Kylie says.

Kylie had worked with enough multinationals to know that Redhead’s strength is getting New Zealand-designed, New Zealand-made garments quickly from drawing board to shop window – a great advantage over brands reliant on overseas factories. And it has paid off. As well as the classic summer, high sum.mer and winter ranges, Redhead brings out a capsule range of 10 to 14 pieces every month. Retailers love the freshness in store, customers are excited to add new looks to their wardrobes mid season.

“I believe the success of Redhead is due to the team of four girls – we are like a family and we all work in together well. We have been together for many years. We love working hard and we combine lunch and laughter with design and dispatch, ” says Kylie.

“We love our customers and our happy friendly environment reflects in the design of our clothes.” Melbourne-born Kylie’s fondness for her independent New Zealand fashion retailers is evident. She loves their individuality and passion and firmly believes the small stores who know their customers well have an edge over the blander chains. The stores are behind her push to emphasise the superb quality of locally-made fashion, and the personality that it brings to women’s wardrobes. “It’s really important that we enjoy doing this,”

Kylie says of her team – and her clients. ‘”I think, as we head to more of a simple life, fashion will reflect that.”‘ So a blonde, some brunettes and one, actual, natural redhead on the Redhead team are set to make Kiwi women smile at their wardrobes.


Owner Kylie Tate and Tina Garratt, Redhead designer" and true redhead.

Owner Kylie Tate and Tina Garratt, Redhead designer” and true redhead.

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