Doris de Pont

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13 O'Connell Street

Doris de Pont’s quarter century of professional fashion-making reflected a distinctive, individual aesthetic which straddled fashion and fine art and sought to realise a distinctive New Zealand style.

It was her connections with others which enabled the opening of her first boutique, at 13 O’Connell Street. Doris was born in Auckland to two Dutch parents, both from families involved in the apparel industry, and she learned to sew as a child. While on her OE in the Netherlands in the early 1980s she sold her own designs through a collective boutique and decided that fashion making was a feasible career path.

Back in Auckland she met Trelise and Jack Cooper at a night class in pattern making and it was through the Coopers that she acquired the lease on her first shop, a little yellow shoebox of a shop at number 13 O’Connell St, in June 1985. By the end of that year, her garments were being featured in ChaCha magazine, and Doris was being hailed as a ‘local fashion luminary’. She closed this shop in early 1990 but continued on in fashion.

The hallmark of her practice in O’Connell Street and during her 26 years in the fashion business, has been her collaborations with New Zealand artists and designers. That cooperative spirit has seen Doris transition from fashion making to fashion curating. When she retired her label in 2008 she founded the New Zealand Fashion Museum, and continues to serve as curator and champion of New Zealand fashion. Her exploration of fashion and identity is ongoing.

Read more at http://www.nzfashionmuseum.org.nz/doris-de-pont/

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