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Fashion and IT successful mix for Mardle designer

May 3rd, 2012 | By | Category: Front Page Layout, Latest News, News


CREATIVE flair and IT procurement appear to be at odds with one another, but designer Shiana Weir has achieved praise at Wellington Fashion Week while doing both.

Global fashion magazine Lucire has named Weir’s designs for her label Mardle as an undisputed hit of the event.

But striking a balance between her day job as an IT procurement officer, and single-handedly designing and manufacturing for Mardle has been a challenge.

Weir was able to take a three month leave of absence from her job at Victoria University to focus solely on readying her debut collection for Fashion Week.

“Victoria University made it happen. I think they were a bit scared that I wasn’t going to come back. But for my husband and I, we need for me to work,” says Weir, pictured right.

The latest Mardle collection, So Many Days, was created to fill a gap in the market that Weir personally identified with.

Because she works in an office environment, Weir wanted to design clothes that are work appropriate, while maintaining a sense of quirkiness and fun.

“I wanted to wear something that would bring some fun and some fashion and some colour to my everyday job to lift me and make me be excited to go to work,” says Weir.

The designer says if it was financially viable she would love to work on the collection full time, despite how hectic her life has been in the lead up to fashion week.

“I basically didn’t have a day off the whole three months. I was working ridiculous hours and as much time and energy as I threw at it, I still didn’t have enough time to do everything I wanted to do,” says Weir.

However, she also recognises the unpredictable nature of the fashion industry and how much risk is involved in committing to a career as a designer.

“I definitely think it is good to have a secondary career, especially in fashion, so that there is not so much pressure to bring money in. Having another job to fall back on is a must,” says Weir.

She says marrying her procurement skills and creativity is something she has in mind.

“I feel like in future I could merge both procurement and fashion, and become a buyer for a department store or something,” says Weir.

Weir is in talks about a possible show at New Zealand Fashion Week in September, but is now focussed on building the awareness of Mardle as a brand.

“I’d definitely like to become more well-known so people will know where to find me and buy my stuff. I’d love to be able to share what I’m doing with more of an audience,” says Weir.

The Spring/Summer 12/13 collection is available for pre order on and is currently stocked at Salisbury Boutique in Dunedin.



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is a Whitireia journalism student.
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