Creative Director & Designer, Vicki Taylor on how she started her Fashion label (TAYLOR) and Multi-Designer concept store (THE SHELTER).
she also gives us the low-down on her Beauty Routine, favourite beauty products and favourite spots in auckland city.
Vicki Taylor is one of New Zealand’s most powerful retailers. Her luxury concept store, The Shelter being New Zealand’s equivalent of a smaller Corso Como. She also runs her own label, taylor, (started in1999) available at farfetch.com and taylor boutiques. Her namesake label is known for its impeccable tailoring, design and refined fabrics. As you can tell, we are a huge fan of all her work.
Vicki is also one of the first few to bring brands such as Maison Martin Margiela, Danish clothing designer Barbara I Gongini, Arielle de Pinto, Marques' Almeida, and Ellery to New Zealand via The Shelter.
Not only does she do all the above but she is also raising two beautiful kids (with her husband Mark) whilst also currently building her dream home. And you can bet her wardrobe and beauty shelf is every bit as incredible as her design aesthetic itself. So how does she do it? Read below to find out more about how she started her label taylor and concept store The Shelter, as well as her beauty routine and favourite places to dine at.
I was surrounded by the textile and fashion industry from childhood. I am the third generation of my family working in the industry. Nowadays, I also have my brother and a close cousin heading up NZ fashion businesses. Then my husband’s family is the third generation working in menswear retail. So I suppose there was just no escape for me.
I remember my father saying: do anything but please do not go into the fashion industry! So like all headstrong school graduates, I went to Melbourne in the early 90s and got a degree in fashion design. Being fascinated by the addictive change created by the industry, I started working in Melbourne for Scanlan Theodore before returning home three years later, and from there, I have not looked back. After heading up a big NZ fashion company’s design room for four years, I took my first tentative steps in 1999 to start taylor. From a small 35sqm Ponsonby store, which I opened in March 1999, to today, where I have five retail outlets throughout New Zealand, two online channels, and a workroom of the next generation industry professionals. We still produce all our taylor brand in New Zealand where every garment passes through five other New Zealand-owned and operated businesses. So together, we are keeping our industry alive and busy. I consider myself fortunate to have been able to get up every day and do what I love. Even after 18 years of designing taylor, I still get a huge buzz when that first sample that has come from a drawing turns up on the rack. I am fortunate to have this career and to have been supported by my amazing clients, who have purchased and worn my creations over the years.
relationship to beauty and self-care
Sadly, I work long hours, and nowadays, with family demands, often my needs are put to the back of the list. In saying that, I have always had a strict morning and evening skincare routine, and I will never leave the house without my hair being done and make-up on. I do believe in purchasing quality products that have been created to achieve optimal results while still being respectful to the environment. I believe the way you present yourself makes you feel so much better and enables you to have a much better day.
I am a big fan of beautifully looked-after nails, and after many years of having dark-based nails, I am loving the new nudes with subtle black accents, be it anything from the simple black-tipped French manicure to the stylised linear hand-illustrations inspired from our latest range mood boards.
fAVOURITE SKINCARE PRODUCT
I love Sans [ceuticals] Activator 7 Oil—the essential oil I put on every morning after my shower and my skin just feels amazing.
MORNING & NIGHTIME ROUTINE
Every morning and night before I go to bed I wash with face Environ Sebuwash and then apply Environ AVST 2 Vitamin A serum.
I love using products that give the best results but are still respectful to our environment. About two years ago, I started using Sans [ceuticals] haircare products and now I cannot go back. My hair is so light compared to when I used more commercial products. I use the online prescription process and luckily we stock this amazing brand at The Shelter . I have spent the last 20 years straightening my hair every day and for that, I use a Sans Moisture Protein Infusion 20 and my trusted GHDs. I now occasionally like the relaxed approach of letting my hair remain natural and that means going curly for a day. For this, I use Davines LOVE, which I put in my wet hair and let then let my hair dry naturally, which is so compared to the time it takes to straighten it every day.
FAVOURITE MAKEUP PRODUCTS
ON taking time out
I go to White Spa in Ponsonby, and they are just amazing. They now have float tanks, so whenever I am feeling stressed and run down, and I can find the time, a float in the magnesium-filled water is such a relaxing and healing experience.
WHEN I AM NOT WORKING...
I love discovering new talent be it food, interior design, architecture, fashion, art, or music. Being a visually-driven creative, I get inspired and love following these talents to see them succeed. This interest is now turning into a bit more of a business with what we are doing at The Shelter by providing fellow New Zealand fashion designers a platform to showcase their talent and help springboard them into the global world of fashion. We also have the young emerging talents we are discovering and mentoring and giving an opportunity to through our Frames initiative.
FAVOURITE PLACES TO DINE AT
My all-time favourite is Ebisu. Each time I go, there will be a dish that that just amazes me with its stunning presentation, and they always taste sensational as well. The chefs there work magic on food. I remember having a paper salad once and it was the thinnest shaves of beetroot, carrot, cucumber, and diakon rolled individually like old fashioned papyrus scrolls, standing up on their ends at different heights. It was just something I would never have expected. It was almost too beautiful to eat!
RECENTLY I DISCOVERED...
Cotto—a new pasta pop-up experience from those who remember the restaurant Delicious in Grey Lynn from the old days. The chef has popped up here. I love this place for its handmade pasta and flavours that inspire you and for its casual ambience that delivers on quality.
AUCKLAND'S BEST KEPT SECRET
If visiting Waiheke island, you must get a coffee at The Annex. It is a small café that you could miss, but the coffee and the beautiful handmade treats provided by the local chef behind Little Tart Bakery are some of the best that I’ve eaten.
For a late night cocktail, there is an old school bar behind the popular food workshop on K-road called Love Bucket. It is worthy of a visit.
For yoga—and this is no secret—Mande White’s boutique yoga studio in 3 Lamps, Ponsonby is one of the best for keeping your body and mind on track.
Zeenat Wilkinson is the Founder and Editorial Director of Sauce.
Her work as a fashion producer, writer, and freelance stylist can be seen in the likes of Vogue, Grazia, Nylon and Black Magazine, internationally, and locally in Fashion Quarterly, Viva/NZ Herald and more. 100% dog person.