She has now celebrated over 45 years with High Society – now producing the labels Catalyst, Obi, Travellers and Chocolat.
Hall’s business innovation was evident from the start and in her early days with the company she was instrumental in introducing the mini skirt to New Zealand in 1965. She walked up and down Queen St, Auckland in a mini, pantyhose (which were not available in New Zealand at the time, only stockings) and Courreges white boots. This not only gained the attention of every passer – by, the media were quick to photograph this exciting foreign phenomenon, fresh from swinging London and Hall’s picture appeared in major newspapers. Pretty soon, every young woman wanted a mini skirt!
Hall has always focused on the business side of fashion and says the excitement she felt at joining the company hasn’t diminished with the years. “Every season you get to re-invent yourself and you live and die by the ranges you produce,” she says.
Strong management practices, retention and development of key staff, listening to the labels’ agents and retailers and having labels with quite different markets have been the strategies to grow the business.
Chief Operations Officer
Anita has represented High Society as National Sales Manager since January 2008, after ten years spent working with other industry notables such as Hart Manufacturing.
Originally brought into the Company to promote and showcase the Obi and Chocolat brands, Anita’s portfolio has now grown to include the overall sales strategy of High Society and the representation of all four HSL labels.
As well as the pre-requisite ‘passion for fashion’, Anita’s strengths are the strong rapport she has built with her clients over the past fifteen years, a strong business sense and a keen commercial eye.
Anita travels throughout New Zealand showing the seasonal collections, visiting clients and promoting the labels, as well as juggling a hectic home life with her three children.
Obi and Catalyst Designer
Jon comes to High Society with 20 years experience, across the clothing industry’s spectrum, from patternmaking and production through design, in both men’s and women’s wear.
Jon’s career began in menswear, where he spent eleven years mastering fine tailoring. Eventually, with a need to expand his creative abilities, Jon delved head first into a new creative dimension, entering the “wonderful world of women’s wear”!
Jon’s unique “handwriting” is playful and clever. Full of interesting elements and texture and using quality fabrications, his work fits perfectly into the High Society way of thinking.
Not to be grounded by life’s rules and regulations, Jon sees outside the square and happily explores the use of unconventional and unexpected design elements.
The lovely and talented Kylie Niovara-Dave has joined the team as the new designer of Chocolat. A familiar face to many of you, Kylie has spent over twenty years in the industry, starting out at one of our favourite retailers in Dunedin before stints designing the Birzeit range for Caroline Sills and the Artisan and Calico collections. Kylie is proving to have a great grasp on what the Chocolat customer is looking for and we are excited by the stylish and sophisticated samples currently flying off the machines. Kylie will be working for High Society three days a week, spending the rest of her time with her gorgeous one year old daughter, Bijou.
Customer Services/Dispatch Co-ordinator
A fashion graduate from AUT, Chloe interned with us to learn about the industry and we were impressed with her work ethic and passion for the ragtrade.
Always ready with a smile, Chloe has proven herself more than capable of this demanding job.
Meet our Production Manager, Sarah Cameron. Sarah has recently re-joined the company and we are loving her attention to detail, her passion for what she does and her ability to get things done. Sarah has enjoyed a long career in Production working with many well-known brands such as Trelise Cooper, Canterbury Clothing and Ricochet. Sarah has also enjoyed a foray into homewares, setting up her own brand, Il Nido.
Jo has been with High Society for 25 years, the last decade or so spent working with our beautiful fabrics and with our production team. Everyone who meets Jo is touched by her kind heart, her huge belly laugh and we have to tell you – she’s awesome to party with!
With over 32 years industry experience, Tanya started her career as a sample machinist, creating samples for notable industry names such as Trelise Cooper, Stitch Ministry and Moss. Five years ago, she moved into Patternmaking and has not looked back. In her spare time, Tanya creates ball and wedding dresses for private clients.
With over 40 years of industry experience, Graham is an incredibly experienced sample cutter with meticulous attention to detail. Graham is also a bit of a ratbag, who keeps us on our toes with his quick wit, and he says his claim to fame is that back in the 1970s he worked with a company called Society Fashions – which is called – High Society today.
Tania has worked with High Society for 25 years in a Contract Cutting capacity, in addition to contract cutting for other notable industry names such as Trelise Cooper, Jane Daniels and Karen Walker. She recently was employed to work exclusively for High Society, and has since moved into assisting in other areas of the business such as Production, Lectra and the Warehouse.
As our Finance Manager, Mike says he gets to do all the fun stuff – preparing monthly accounts, liaising with the IRD and the bank and monitoring the company’s cash flow, He also gets to deal with all the ‘odds and sods’ to do with managing the building – like rubbish collection, security and cleaning. Mike is married to the lovely Audrey, and has one adult daughter, Sarah.