NZFW

Meet the FQ team: Editor-in-chief Zoe Walker Ahwa

Zoe Walker-Ahwa, editor-in-chief of Fashion Quarterly

NZ Fashion Week is here (again) so we thought this was the perfect time to introduce our team – they’ll be working hard behind the scenes, front row and outside the shows to bring you all the coverage from the week’s events.


What’s your role at Fashion Quarterly?
Editor-in-chief.

What will your focus be at NZ Fashion Week?
This is the first year I’ll be attending as editor of Fashion Quarterly; working with our talented team to cover it across our digital and social platforms. I like to attend as many shows as I can, from well-known names to emerging brands. I love when you discover a new talent at NZFW, or when a young designer you’ve been quietly watching develop completely nails it. Fashion Week is also an opportunity to celebrate our industry, as a business and creative outlet. As editor of New Zealand’s leading and longest standing fashion title, I see one of my key roles this week as supporting my team as well as the designers and talents within our industry.

When did you attend your first NZFW and what’s your standout memory from it?
My first fashion week show was as a communications uni student and customer of Karen Walker in 2005, when she presented her collection Karen in TV Land. The next year was my first time attending and working as media – taking down people’s names for front row and party photos and asking, “what are you wearing?”

What for you has been the ultimate NZFW show/collection?
There are two, from the same year, and I wasn’t at either of them. To me – a fashion nerd that appreciates the story as much as the actual clothes – they have become almost legendary. The first is Kate Sylvester’s Stop Your Sobbing: a gorgeous collection and styling complemented by a perfect Nick Cave/Lou Reed/Straightjacket Fits soundtrack.

The other is Zambesi’s And the Song Remains the Same show on the stage of the iconic St James. The band Pluto played as models like Veronica Crockford-Pound, Penny Pickard, Vinnie Woolston and Ngahuia Williams stalked the stage looking effortlessly cool. Both shows represent the power of fashion and presentation to connect emotionally – and also, I suppose, the power of nostalgia.

What shows are you most looking forward to this year?
I particularly love when Kate Sylvester indulges her poetic side, so I’m expecting beautiful things from her collection called Love Letters. The invitation came in the post as though it was written, and began ‘Dearest darling’. Swoon! I’m intrigued to see what young talents Maggie Marilyn, Benjamin Alexander and Paris Georgia present, with their first NZFW shows. And I’m excited about Zambesi showing at the Central City Library. My mum’s a librarian, our libraries are treasures, and anything that spotlights all they contribute to our communities is a wonderful thing! And to top it all off, our fun Fashion Quarterly and Miss FQ in-season show during NZ Fashion Weekend.

What trends are you hoping to see in the collections?
I hope to see genuine inclusivity, diversity and a focus on sustainability that continues beyond the runway. Fashion wise… I predict a lot of Jacquemus ‘always on holiday’ vibes.

What’s your key to making the week go smoothly?
Having fun, being nice and respecting the hard work that goes on behind the scenes. Also, chic but comfortable shoes that you can dance in.

What’s your NZFW style?
Vintage. I’m planning to wear pieces from the archives of some of our top designers. Loved clothes last!

Photo: Guy Coombes

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