Francis Hooper talks us through the latest vintage drops at WORLD's Collectors Room

We recently had a wander through WORLD’s The Collectors Room. We were particularly enamoured by the beautiful Missoni collection in stock. Each piece took us back into the ‘70s in a luxurious time warp. We were impressed by the range of sizes and affordable price range. There were pieces to suit most individuals looking to tap into the world of collectable designer vintage. WORLD owner and designer, Francis Hooper, also the mastermind behind The Collectors Room, was hanging out in the space when we were checking it out. Naturally we pulled him aside for a wee chat to get a rundown on what's in store... cr11 Where did the idea come from for The Collectors Room? The idea for The Collectors Room came from the personal desire to showcase unique, rare, bazaar and beautiful objects that just don't fit into normal retail. We wanted to create a retail space that was different and creative, where people could go to see and buy something really different for their lifestyles. The Collectors Room is a point of difference from other retailers, providing New Zealand with a luxurious and unique experience. How important is this to you and the WORLD brand? It is very important to WORLD's creative journey as a brand and luxury retailer that we push ourselves creativity in retail. To offer something different, and in some ways odd, we also strive to create a unique experience when you are in our shop, that doesn’t make you feel like you are in a run of the mill store. What can clients and customers expect when they visit The Collectors Room by appointment? The space is unique and rare, so we have limited its access, so only the most curious and inquisitive get to experience it. The Collectors Room is not for everyone. The shop is open Friday through Sunday to the public. How and where do you source the pieces for The Collectors Room? The Collectors Room is a collaboration, it is a space we curate working with the most talented and full of character people here in New Zealand and around the world! We can only be as good as the people we work with, so we endeavour to change the offering four to six times a year. We work with Taxidermist, antique dealers, artists, and fashion curators, et al! What history does each piece carry with it, in terms of the sourcing of each piece? Good question, the provenance of our objects offered for sale is very important. Part of the journey of collecting is knowing who made it, how it got here, or even better who owned it before! The Collectors Room truly is a sanctuary for the retail soul. cr14 Missoni is known globally for its colourful and zig-zag knitwear designs. How were you drawn to such a brand for this series of The Collectors Room? To get an opportunity to sell Vintage Missoni has been a dream come true! The Missoni family has single-handedly raised the level of designed knitwear from fashion to art! It was the ‘70s that Missoni was at its best; so to be able to tap into the global luxury vintage trade (which is now a closed shop!) and hand pick vintage Missoni from a dealer in Tokyo was a dream come true! The price points are very reasonable, how important was this to you when sourcing the pieces? The unique story for us really lies in the fact that we have connected with a few very prestigious and connected vintage dealers who only work with super brands. We have started our business journey with Missoni out of a passion for the brand but we have also brought to New Zealand a small offering of Chanel, Dior, Muglier, Versace and others to test the waters. In the future we will be featuring specific brands exclusively at The Collectors Room, so watch this space. It is so much fun doing this as a job! How can customers make an appointment to view The Collectors room? Of course people who are interested in our unique signature retail space who are time starved can ring and make an appointment to view our space, but really the room is open Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 4pm, which makes us available in a civilized way. Will items be available online for purchase for out of towners? Or are all the pieces only available exclusively by appointment from the show room? At present The Collectors Room exists above our electrifying Ponsonby WORLD fashion store at 97 Ponsonby Road (09 378 0897) Visit WORLD online here for more information on The Collectors Room. Words by Isabella van heusden. cr3