39 Victoria Street West, 222 Queen Street
It was on a trip to Australia that Isabel Harris found her inspiration for Hullabaloo’s first shop on Victoria Street.
Seeing the popular John and Merivale shops in Sydney - with dark, spot-lit spaces, plenty of palms, feather boas and busy wallpaper - was a revelation. She thought, “Oh my god, this is fantastic, why haven’t we got this in New Zealand?”
It was this fashion savvy that she brought to Thornton Hall, the business of Brian Hall and John Thorne, a couple of entrepreneurial young players on the fashion scene in the late 1960s. They realised that they could take her designs straight to the street, rather than waiting for their wholesale customers to get up to speed with the latest trends. So it was that Hullabaloo was born, complete with antiques, black French wallpaper with birds and magnolias and lots of brass fittings.
Its popularity grew quickly; with its on-trend clothing and unique style, it wasn’t long before they needed to upsize. When the shop underneath Hullabaloo’s workroom at 222 Queen Street became available in 1973, the decision was made to move into this much bigger space. It was a bold move, but one that paid off as the Queen Street store became an icon of the decade.
Hullabaloo sold a huge range of clothing but also the accessories, bags, belts, hats and jewellery needed to complete the look. With factories in Auckland, Paeroa and Tauranga, everything was manufactured in New Zealand, employing 200 plus people directly and more than 200 outworkers.
Read more at www.nzfashionmuseum.org.nz/hullabaloo