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HELENE RAVLICH: LOCAL DESIGNER

Ingrid Starnes From the get go, local designer Ingrid Starnes has been one of my favourite New Zealand talents. I pretty much love and covet everything she does, and in a perfect world each piece from her near-flawless collections would mysteriously magic its way into my wardrobe. The mum of three established her eponymous label in 2009 and now has stores in Newmarket and on Ponsonby Road, the latter of which is one of the strip’s most beautiful locations. Designer Ingrid and her partner Simon Pound collaboratively designed the fit out of the brand's second store, and the still relatively new space stocks the brand's seasonal collections as well as their skincare and fragrance ranges, and complements the existing store on Teed Street in Newmarket. From the copper racks to the Xanthe White -designed hoop feature with hanging plants, it is as elegant and perfectly put together as Ingrid herself. The label first came to Ponsonby in 2010, “very close to where we are now,” says Ingrid, “sharing with Kristine at Miss Crabb. We then partnered with Tessuti, opening the lovely Herne Bay store together August 2011.” Why Herne Bay, I ask? “Well, the building is gorgeous,” says the designer of the space on the corner of Jervois and Albany Roads, “and the people there have excellent taste. It's a real community and we were right next door to cafes we loved and the Melanie Roger Gallery. It was a place we loved to be, so felt right.” When asked how opening her own store helped shape the trajectory of her label, Ingrid says that first and foremost, it allowed her to “meet women that loved the clothes, and learn from them. Having that direct relationship with really discerning, travelled and knowledgeable customers meant we could refine what we did and always keep learning. It also allowed us to start making custom clothing for professional women, which keeps growing as a part of what we do.” Their next store was in Newmarket, but the goal was always a return to the Ponsonby ‘hood. “We love Ponsonby, and we'd been looking to set up here for a while,” she tells me, but this time they were in search of “a site that would allow us to get the workroom out of home and also stay connected to the retail, and the perfect spot came up. We make all our samples, oversee our (all local) production and do our custom made all behind our Ponsonby shop.” The Ponsonby store has quite a different vibe to Newmarket, and Ingrid says they are loving being part of the Williamson Avenue-meets-Ponsonby Road community which is also home to boutique-style stores like Curio Noir, Real Time and Flotsam & Jetsam. “It's such a nice welcoming space and we love to meet new people there,” she says. Because they have the workroom out back, “that is where we do our fittings and appointments for a lot of bridesmaid and custom pieces. It has lovely big changing rooms and private mirrors, so is very well suited to fittings. The fragrance range does well there too, with lots of people hitting Ponsonby to pick up a special gift.”

74 PONSONBY NEWS+ September 2016

Ingrid Starnes On the topic of the label’s foray into beauty and fragrance, Ingrid tells me that they have “loved the journey with the perfume. The latest pieces are an eau de parfum intense and also a large deluxe candle. We are working towards a few new things there also, it is such a fun place to be able to experiment, and make beautiful imagery.” When I ask if the Ingrid Starnes', customer has changed from the one she was when the label first launched, Ingrid doesn’t hesitate in saying: “Yes, and as we grow we find that we are doing a lot more pieces that are great as an intelligent, considered feminine take on things to wear at work.” She is a strong believer in wearing “special things everyday, but we offer more pieces that pair well in the workplace now, and take you from day to night.” The Ingrid Starnes wearer is still a woman who cares about quality too, “how something is made, the fabric and not getting something throwaway.” When we speak she is in the thick of sampling a new collection, putting in long hours and still trying to keep things together at home. What keeps the designer cool, calm and collected? “My amazing team,” she says without hesitation. “We are all in it together so it makes the long, long days not feel so hard. Coffee, and getting up and going for a run in the morning help too!” Lastly, she thanks her family, “Especially my partner Simon... he has to pick up a lot of the slack when I work these huge hours and I wouldn't be able to hold it together if it wasn't for him.” (HELENE RAVLICH) F PN www.ingridstarnes.com

PUBLISHED FIRST FRIDAY EACH MONTH (except January)

PONSONBY NEWS - SEPTEMBER'16  

Ponsonby? Anyone not heard of us? We are Auckland's most talked-about part of town. ENJOY :-))

PONSONBY NEWS - SEPTEMBER'16  

Ponsonby? Anyone not heard of us? We are Auckland's most talked-about part of town. ENJOY :-))