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Marilyn Sainty

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107 Queen Street

The first Scotties boutique, at 107 Queen Street, celebrated its launch in 1979 with a fashion show at Auckland's chic Club Mirage. More than four decades later, the boutique is still with us at 3 Lorne Street in the city and 2 Blake Street in Ponsonby. Its willingness to change has helped it endure.

Marilyn Sainty and Sonja Batt met while working at another Queen Street store, London Affair Boutique. Sonja had a good business sense and an eye for what would sell, while Marilyn brought design talent and skills that she had honed through her experience with Wendy Ganley of Elle and from six years of working in fashion in Sydney.

Initially, Marilyn just made what she liked for Scotties with other local designers supplementing the stock but, as the business developed, she felt compelled to produce a collection, something she says she found really stressful and difficult. She found inspiration in Italian fashion, and Scotties' first imported label was that of Italian designer Romeo Gigli. Marilyn was also intrigued and beguiled by cutting-edge Japanese designers like Issey Miyake and Yohji Yamamoto. This openness to innovative design and quality can be seen in the support for emerging local talent like Julia Fong and Beth Ellery and by the variety of labels stocked by Scotties over the years.

Although now retired from designing, Marilyn's own mastery of cloth and cut has been widely recognised. Her ability to create precise, elegant and often witty garments that both reflect, and transcend the dates of their creation, is acknowledged by her design colleagues and by her customers.

Read more at http://www.nzfashionmuseum.org.nz/marilyn-sainty/

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