About the New Zealand Fashion Museum

The New Zealand Fashion Museum is for anyone with a love of fashion, heritage, innovation and creativity. With no fixed abode other than this online address, it is a museum dedicated to the curation of New Zealand’s rich fashion past, making it relevant for the present and future.

Established in 2010 as a Charitable Trust, it records and shares the stories of the people, objects and photographs that have contributed to the development of New Zealand's unique fashion identity. It makes them visible and accessible to a broad audience through pop-up exhibitions, publications and our online museum.

The New Zealand Fashion Museum Story

NZFM embraces the traditional purpose of a museum, which is to develop social knowledge and encourage discussion about society, culture and our national identity. It does however break with the traditional museum form with its ability to be flexible, dynamic and a museum trendsetter. It chooses to be represented not by a grand building or a physical collection but instead by the quality of its research, its publications, its online museum and by its award-winning pop-up exhibitions.

As acquiring and conserving fashion garments is a service already provided by other public and private institutions, NZFM borrows rather than collects. Sourcing garments from the wider community for its exhibitions encourages participation and engagement while recognising the important contribution people's experiences and stories make in understanding our past. This strategy also allows the museum to be responsive to current social questions and interests as we grow a body of educational and cultural resource that’s easily accessible to the public and emerging fashion creatives.

Show & tell

New Zealand Fashion Museum exhibitions

NZFM exhibitions are not constrained by their ties to a building. We are proud to have curated exhibitions that have popped up in spaces all over New Zealand. Our 2013 exhibition, Home Sewn: Original New Zealand Fashion, earned the 2013 Museums Aotearoa Award for Exhibition Excellence: "An outstanding new exhibition project that contributes to best practice in the museum sector in Aotearoa New Zealand, and demonstrates excellence, relevance and vision."

New Zealand Fashion Museum publications

NZFM has produced books to accompany each exhibition - available to purchase in our online store. We have also published an e-book, Being There, the memoirs of New Zealand fashion writer Cecilie Geary.

New Zealand Fashion Museum online

The cornerstone of NZFM is its online museum. It provides a home for the recorded pop-up exhibitions and a vehicle for exclusive online exhibitions. Bringing together a record of the national collection of fashion objects held in public collections and in private homes, it is a resource of tremendous value for research as well as enjoyment.

New Zealand Fashion Museum trustees

NZFM is a Registered Charitable Trust formed in February 2010. The trustees, who have been recruited for their specialist skills, include specialist apparel/textile supply chain manager Karen White, exhibitions content researcher Lizzie Wratislav and copyright specialist Sarah Powell.

Access to the museum is free. This is made possible through the generosity of individual and company donors, supportive sponsors, public grants and revenue generated by publication royalties and sales. We welcome your support.