Opportunity Knocks in LA for Young Designer

Published June 10, 2014

Local fashion designer Brooke Barrett (above) is set to spread her wings in the fabulous metropolis of Los Angeles as the manager of a store for the New Zealand based fabric empire The Fabric Store previously known as Global Fabrics where Brooke currently manages.

Brooke grew up in Oakura and attended Oakura School and NPGHS. In recent years the 24 year old has been living in Wellington where she set up her own design label called “Brooke Barrett” following the completion of a Fashion Design Diploma at Massey University. Global fabrics now called The Fabric Store opened in 1995 in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. In 2008 they opened a store in Sydney, in 2010 a store in Melbourne, 2011 a store in Brisbane and last year a store in La Brea, Los Angeles. The ethos of the store is to provide sustainable eco supplies to its customers and most of the fabrics are sourced from eco-minded suppliers in Poland, Uruguay, South East Asia, Italy and New Zealand. The fabric rolls are usually designer ends or mill over runs. There is a specific focus on New Zealand merino and natural fibres.

In April of this year Brooke was selected as a Young Talent Designer for Wellington’s Fashion Week. She supplied four looks from what was to be her latest collection and the feedback on the garments was good – described as “simple but chic”. Brooke had hoped to produce 10 garments but Fashion Week coincided with the job offer in LA and training in Auckland so four garments was all she had time to produce.

The most common worry Brooke notices from women is not being able to find clothing that fits them properly – or is too tight in all the wrong areas. Garments from Brooke’s collection are slightly over-sized and comprise of pleated skirts, elbow length tee-shirts, loose fitting v-neck dresses, a super sized t-shirt dress made from a merino wool coating, and silk organza trousers.

This collection consists of luscious moleskins, wool coatings, silk organza, merino and heavy cotton corduroys in rich winter tones with a fit that sits off the body with thoughtfully placed seams and panel lines – allowing for the body to move freely without constriction, while creating shape. – All made from fabrics from The Fabric Store.

Inspiration originally sprung from 1920’s school uniforms and was then infused from the interior of Brooke’s current home where her photo shoot took place.

Presently Brooke is awaiting the documentation necessary to work and live in the USA and is looking forward to the challenge of living in a big city like LA. She will be based in La Brea and has accommodation right above her work. Brooke’s position as manager of the store will see her out and about in LA meeting designers and other creators with samples from The Fabric Store. Brooke says she is excited about fulfilling some of her personal goals and developing new skills. She says her time spent at Anakiwa Outdoor Pursuits Centre as a teenager will hold her in good stead as she faces new challenges without the support of family and friends. The opportunity to meet new people and face new experiences was too good to turn down.

We wish Brooke all the best as she leaves our shores for the bright lights, taking with her the backing of our little community and the pride we feel for those who are willing to take a chance.