Not New Founder Laura Jean Fitzweijers.
After New Zealand’s first Covid lockdown, Laura-Jean Fitzweijers and her husband decided to sell their business. Hers is in insurance, hers is a franchise. They move into a bold new chapter, which is “focusing on time with our children and learning new ways to spend our labor energy”.
This energy made Fitzweijers discover Not New, an online luxury fashion resale site, which encourages circular business – sell your unused clothes, and spend what you earn on something you will wear.
Based in his Christchurch home (“three girls in the garage”), the site launched recently, with an event at the Isaac Theater Royal to celebrate. Freya Alexander’s friend and colleague was brought in as CEO last year. Fitzweijers’ husband, meanwhile, has been training as a blacksmith – though no longer in the garage.
“I kicked my husband out of his beautiful man cave and it is now our studio and office. All my spare rooms are full of clothes!” But Fitzweijers are eager to move on. “Being part of a women-focused business, working with women, and celebrating individuality through sustainable fashion is a great place to be.”
* For linen designer Jo Steel, clothing is a double-edged sword
* For Meg Thompson clothes are an expressive celebration of femininity
* Layering colors, fabrics and patterns is key to childrenswear designer Lucy Wildman’s wardrobe
Five things I own and love
1. My wedding ring
It was created as a collaboration of love, history and friendship. The diamond was converted from my paternal grandmother’s ring, the gold quarried from my parents’ West Coast backyard and our family friends perfected it ready to be shaped and shaped by a local goldsmith, into an understated elegant ribbon.
2. Mira Mikati cable top
In bold midnight blue straps with ribbons of randomly tapped and glittering colors and fonts, Swiss ski instructors from the early 90’s would support the bold proclamation of “adrenaline seekers”. I immediately had a crush on this shirt and couldn’t wait to show my husband my latest acquisition. Adorned in my radical shirt with a glass of vino in hand, I’m a little surprised he’s not as enchanted as I am.
3. Dolce & Gabbana plaid wool coat
This expertly crafted coat from Dolce & Gabbana is the first Not New designer I’ve purchased from overseas. You could say it took me down the rabbit hole that generated the site, because I never expected to find – or buy – a coat like that. Every time I wear it, I not only feel comfortable and warm but also feel special.
4. Twist Birger Christensen’s pink ball gown
We all need our favorite ball gown and this Rotate Birger Christensen gown is certainly “Not New”. Cozy, flattering, sparkling and pink – like disco champagne! Need I say more?
5. By Malene Birger poncho
This heavy duty 100% merino wool poncho makes keeping warm outdoors a pleasure. It’s like putting on your favorite childhood wool blanket with a little finesse. I’m outside as much as possible in the winter so my wardrobe is full of wool! I can’t get enough of this beautiful sustainable fiber. High quality wool lasts and lasts a long time making a great resale product.
Three things I wish I had
1. Complete set of early illustrated editions of Chronicles of Narnia
Sometimes it feels like I grew up half in New Zealand and half in Narnia, so any early edition of the Chronicles of Narnia featuring original illustrations is a very precious treasure to me.
2. Stella McCartney Fantasia fringed kaftan, $3085
I mean, hello Stella. It’s just dreamy fashion and fun. Collection for the future.
3. Gucci Foulard vintage 2016 floral bomber jacket
The Gucci Bomber is a timeless imagination. Available occasionally on used sites like Farfetch and hopefully someday on ours.