pia boutique back at nz fashion week bigger & better

PIA VIVA 1 of 1 When it comes to emerging talent in Kiwi fashion, these guys are the ones to watch. ThePIA Boutique, or PIA for short, has gone from strength to strength since they launched two years ago. 13,000 Facebook fans, a booming online store and a newly-opened flagship boutique in Parnell later, designer Pia Naera is now gearing up for her biggest project yet - a solo show at New Zealand Fashion Week 2013. As Pia and her team put the final touches on what's sure to be a spectacular show, she sat down with online editor and friend Steven Fernandez to talk about what's on the agenda... and because she's such a sweet chick, she hooked us up with one of her stunning dresses for a lucky Remix reader. Read the interview and enter here! You’re back in the mix with New Zealand Fashion Week this year – bigger than before! Tell us what you’re doing this year - where and when people can catch PIA at NZ Fashion Week? Totally! We are hitting the ground running with Fashion Week this year round.  Having our own show, we are excited to share with both delegates and buyers, but also our lovely customers my newest Spring/Summer Collection.  Our own show will be held this Thursday at Shed 2 at 5pm, but we’re also a part of another great show, Miromoda. What can audiences expect from your show? Our guests and those who’ll catch our show online, should be expecting our signature frills and print but something more.  We’re introducing some new structured garments and some different beautiful fabrics.  Expect color, ease to wear, and a real high casual feel to this collection.  Also expect a performance from the lovely Esther Stephens, she’ll be there performing one of her amazing songs. What’s it like putting one of these productions together? It seems pretty overwhelming! Where are you at with this and what still needs to be done? Are you stressed? I’m feeling really good and yes there’s a bit of stress amidst the mix, but there’s nothing like stress to get the ball rolling to be honest.  Putting a show together is pretty full on, but I’m lucky because my team is fantastic and they all work extremely hard and around the clock to get everything sorted.  At the moment we are tweaking and perfecting our garments so that they look best for the runway – oh and we’re also finalizing our goody bags! Excited to give those out! Is there a show from a previous NZ Fashion Week from another designer that stands out for you? Perhaps a designer or brand who inspired you? Actually, I really loved the New Zealand Wedding Magazine show last year.  As I was getting married shortly after, I found the dresses inspiring and helpful for designing my own gown. Why do you think the Fashion Week platform is important for designers like you? NZ Fashion Week is important for PIA because it gives us the opportunity to share what I am designing both nationally and internationally.  It propels PIA into the larger market place, leaving room for my work to be not only appreciated, but also criticized, and we appreciate all input! Tell us a bit about your new collection. How is it the same and different from your previous collections? Our new collection still maintains the signature PIA element, which is undoubtedly frills and print. I’m bringing some bolder, more ‘wowing’ colors this summer as I think that summer really requires this kind of daring aspect.   I’m also staying true to my classic floaty designs which compliment girls figures, but also bringing in some really beautiful fitted garments that complement another aspect to the womanly figure. You’ve just opened your first store in Parnell, which is a huge deal! Why did you choose Parnell and how has the store gone in the first few months? After several months of contemplating where we want to set up, we decided Parnell.  Everywhere else we went, we didn’t feel although the space and location were true to both myself and the brand.  As soon as I stepped into the store for the first time I knew that it fully embodied what PIA Boutique is and looks like.  Parnell is also amidst a real social change too.  There is an increase in new and young business owners doing their own thing, and noticing this early on I decided that I wanted to become a part of the movement to get young creatives back into Parnell!The newly opened PIA Boutique in Parnell Tell us a bit about yourself. Your designs are very distinct. How did you get into fashion design and develop the look your clothes have? Yeah you’re right Steven, my designs are essentially very me.  While I was at Uni I really wanted to figure out how textile, graphic, and fashion design came together.  After a couple of solid attempts at how I thought it might work I had created my first printed garment.  It was pretty shabby at first and needed some serious refinement, but nevertheless, that was the real humble beginnings of PIA the label.  A lot of my design process is done over a long period of time where I can experiment with how different fabrics interact my prints. What do you do outside of running PIA Boutique? Outside of PIA Boutique I am either trying to get away up north, or catching up with friends and family, or spending time with my family.  We run a pretty busy business so I don’t find too much time to get away, but when we do, we make the most of it! What’s your absolute worst fashion faux pa? Schneans.  Unless with a pair of Nike Frees or Roshes, schneans are never acceptable! Fashion doesn’t have to be expensive and your stuff is really well priced. What quick and easy advice can you give to girls who want to look good but not spend tonnes? Some quick and easy dos and don’ts? Do: Buy something you’ll be able to wear in a versatile way.
 Don’t: Don’t always wear black.
Do: If you do buy something that is cheap, at least make sure that it is quality!
Never:  Never question if you are wearing too much colour. What’s next for you guys in the next 12 months? We have quite a bit planned for the next 12 months.  Although we can’t quite fully tell you what we are doing, I can say that we have big plans and that we are looking forward to sharing them with everybody. Jump over to www.piaboutique.com to check out the PIA online store and 'Like' these guys on Facebook for the latest updates, including all the NZ Fashion Week action! Because Pia loves Remix and the Remix readers, she hooked us up with the dress below for one of you to win! Enter here to go into the draw to win. Entries close Wednesday 11th September.