Kiwibank 3 Kiwibank Wardrobe
Pou Auaha / Creative DirectorTiffany Kong
Pou Rautaki / Strategic LeadSimon Hofmann
Ringatoi Matua / Design DirectorErica Beagley
Ngā Kaimahi / Team MembersGemma Wong, Angela Lucas, Kiri Nathan, Jen Sievers Art, Standard Issue, Barkers Menswear Clothing, Little Yellow Bird, Booker Spalding
Workplace dress codes were first created to enforce discipline, conformity, and status. What’s deemed appropriate has changed over the past few decades and Kiwibank wanted to lead the charge into a new age of workwear, creating a modern, progressive and inclusive wardrobe that accurately reflects the diversity of Aotearoa today, putting an end to the narrow and impersonal uniform.
In March 2022, we surveyed our retail teams to get feedback on their current uniform:
• 59% felt neutral, or thought the offering needed improvement and,
• 46% felt “tired” when putting on their current uniform
Moving away from industry norms, we worked with six leading multidisciplinary New Zealand based partners to design the wardrobe. We believe that to achieve diversity in the outcome, you need diversity in the input, so we blended established mainstream brands with bespoke fashion designers and out of category artists: Barkers, Jen Sievers, Kiri Nathan, Little Yellow Bird, Standard Issue and Booker Spalding.
Launched as an initial 46-piece collection, the capsule considers all body types, choice, accessibility, gender neutrality, and cultural and religious preferences to encourage team members to express their individuality. Staff can pick and choose from the collection to build their own wardrobe as opposed to following strict guidelines. The wardrobe has been designed to evolve over time, so that we can add in new designs that reflect cultural demands, as well as fashion trends and evolutions in fabrics and technology.
The final colours, fabrics and designs selected have been a collaborative effort between our design partners and 20 of our own retail team members who wear-tested the garments and provided invaluable feedback to ensure each item was fit for purpose. It was important to lean on each design partners’ area of expertise, so they could each deliver something unique to the range, while still delivering a cohesive wardrobe.
Kiri Nathan was inspired by our brand promise of a thriving community, which in te ao Māori is symbolised through te pā harakeke (flax bush). Her wrap garments made in a recycled polyester represent intergenerational protection and nurturing within te pā.
The unique pattern by Jen Sievers was inspired by a healthy, thriving Aotearoa and is also printed on a recycled polyester. Lush greens, areas of dusk and natural textures combine to paint a picture of nature at its flourishing best.
Standard Issue created knitwear made with 100% merino wool and was manufactured locally in Tāmaki Makaurau. The bespoke styles are made using whole-garment engineering which eliminates waste.
Barkers offered us a selection of their retail offering, which focusses on using high quality materials such as responsibly sourced cotton and wool, paired with classic design detailing.
Little Yellow Bird supplied us with high quality, low impact unisex polos, made with GOTS-certified organic cotton, fully traceable back to farm and manufactured at a Fairtrade-certified factory.
Bringing this together is Booker Spalding who have supported us in aggregating product from all partners and have developed the first cultural items in our wardrobe, the lavalava, kurti tunic and the hijab.