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Adrienne Winkelmann

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12 O'Connell Street

Adrienne Winkelmann rivals Zambesi as the longest established contemporary fashion designer in Auckland, launching her label and opening a boutique in Mayfair Mall off Queen Street in 1978.

She moved to sharp new premises in the recently opened Commercial Union Building Arcade at the top of Vulcan Lane in 1984 and for the last 17 years has continued to run her successful couture business in Chancery, on Courthouse Lane. Adrienne still maintains a large workroom in nearby O’Connell Street which also houses an extensive collection of fabrics, an archive of patterns, and the thousands of fashion magazines she has been collecting since her teens.

In contrast to Liz Findlay, who learnt her skills on the job, Adrienne trained in apparel technology and business at ATI, Auckland Technical Institute (now known as AUT). Her talent for creating bold, modern, tailored classics was quickly recognised and she became an editorial favourite whose designs appeared regularly in local fashion magazines at both ends of the fashion spectrum from the glossy high-end Fashion Quarterly to the street-style broadsheet ChaCha.

Some of Adrienne’s earliest creations were modelled by her older sister Helen who would happily go out on a Saturday night “punked up” in Adrienne Winkelmann vinyl hot pants. As a law student, Helen became Adrienne’s first house model and nowadays is a (well-dressed) Court of Appeal judge.

The focus on designing for independent, successful women has remained a hallmark of Adrienne Winkelmann with a clientèle that spans several countries and includes businesswomen, lawyers and female members of Parliament.

Read more at www.nzfashionmuseum.org.nz/adrienne-winkelmann

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