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 by Doris de Pont, the museum records and shares the stories of the people, objects and images 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.
Show & tell
New Zealand Fashion Museum 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 has published a number of publications to accompany our exhibitions which are 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.
The cornerstone of the New Zealand Fashion Museum is its online museum. It provides a home for the record of our 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.
Behind the scenes
The New Zealand Fashion Museum 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, publications, website and its award-winning pop-up exhibitions.
One key pillar in creating a comprehensive record of New Zealand’s fashion history is collaboration. We work with many different institutions including art galleries, libraries, universities, and museums: sharing digital archives of garments and images, working together to realise projects and providing specialist curatorial services.
As acquiring and conserving fashion garments is a service already provided by other public and private institutions, the museum 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 resources that are easily accessible to the public and emerging fashion creatives.
The New Zealand Fashion Museum is a Registered Charitable Trust. The trustees, who have been recruited for their specialist skills, include Dominique De Give, Taranjit Sahni, Emma Gleason, Philip Clarke, Denise Baynham, Rose Jackson, and Dan Ahwa.
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.