United by their love for overseas travel, dressmakers Joy Gerbic and Colleen Frei eventually returned home to New Zealand to start their own fashion label, Pour Vous.
They found a workroom on 38 Airedale Street in Auckland, and by December 1958, Pour Vous Model Frocks was open for business. Colleen and Joy decided to approach Smith & Caughey’s with some of their designs. The Smith & Caughey’s buyer was impressed with their hand sewn zips and asked them to make a dress for a fashion show. Before long, Pour Vous was being stocked in Smith & Caughey’s.
Needing more workspace, they moved to the Hall of Commerce Building at 54 High Street in the early 1960s taking over the Babs Radon workrooms when Barbara Herrick relocated her business to larger premises on Chancery Street. In 1961, Colleen and Joy entered the New Zealand Gown of the Year competition with a figure-hugging sheath, ‘Fleur d’Or’, which stood out among the many flamboyant full-skirted entries. While ‘Fleur d’Or’ didn’t place, it achieved worldwide fame later that year when it was worn by the Miss New Zealand contestant, Leone Main.
A Pour Vous garment did place in the Golden Shears competition in 1962 - a black and white satin gown made by their new designer Annie Bonza.
Pour Vous opened two retail stores; one in Takapuna and the other in the Strand Arcade but the business was eventually closed in 1973.
Read more at www.nzfashionmuseum.org.nz/pour-vous
Like the tour? Try another central city walk, or visit the New Zealand Fashion Museum online.