Lisa Barber is one cool lady. The native New Yorker recently sold off her trendy lifestyle and bought a one-way ticket with husband Lucas to New Zealand. They plan to start in New Zealand on an international expedition. The couple we invited to New Zealand Fashion Week as special guests of the Miromoda show. I was so lucky to get a brief catch up with the talented young writer.
RL: Lisa, thanks so much for taking the time to do this interview! You have quite a varied background happening! Stylist, Fashion Blogger and you run a travel website with your husband as well?
LB: My background is a compilation of my professional experience over the last few years. Shortly after graduating from Fashion Institute of Technology, I had an opportunity to work in the fashion industry as an assistant for a designer while freelancing as a stylist in NYC. I later created my personal style blog PhysicalCanvas.com in 2011 as a creative platform while pursing my masters in communication and media technology. Earlier this year I added full-time travel writer to my portfolio of experience after establishing BarbersGoGlobal.com with my husband Lucas to document our adventures around the world.
Can you tell me more about this latest project (Barbers Go Global) you’re working on?
LB: Lucas and I are working on an ongoing video and photography series that focuses on the convergence of traditional and contemporary culture in the countries that we are visiting, specifically in the areas of art (visual or performing), fashion, and food. We believe there is a struggle in most societies as to how to celebrate and honour their cultural past while keeping it relevant for a new generation. There are many people who are trying to do this and I want to tell their stories.
RL: What brought you over to NZ in the first place? New York would seem to be the mecca for creatives such as yourselves!
LB: New York is a fantastic place full of inspiration and talent however over the last several years we’ve had a strong desire to pursue long-term travel. Given our love for travel and culture, we underwent a major lifestyle change. We resigned from our positions, sold our home and everything in it, and purchased a one-way ticket out of New York to New Zealand. We chose New Zealand because it was on Lucas’s bucket list and since we travelled to my two dream destinations, London and Paris; it was a great opportunity to fulfil his dream.
RL: That’s so awesome! You’re both truly living the dream. What sets NZ apart from other places you could have set up?
LB: While we marvel at New Zealand’s beautiful landscape in the North and South Island it is the people that sets it apart from other places that we’ve visited and are fortunate to be the recipients of Kiwi kindness. New Zealand also provided us the opportunity to travel to a country that has a unique and vibrant indigenous culture but shares the same language, which made the transition to long-term travel easier.
RL: You’re particularly interested in Miromoda as part of NZFW; what is it about that show you love?
LB: I love that it provides visibility to designers that combine traditional and contemporary Maori aesthetics. The rich history and techniques embedded in their designs and patterns allow designers to tell their stories of the past, present and future. Because of this, Miromoda designers resonate with global audiences that are seeking to preserve and honour their lineage while serving as a voice in the fashion industry.
RL: As an international blogger, what do you find the same and different about the NZ Fashion Week?
LB: Fashion Week on a global level is an important pillar in any location because it is a reflection of the community and its aesthetic in a particular city. Based on my observations, both New York Fashion Week and New Zealand Fashion Week are impeccably managed and operated like a well-oiled machine. The energy of the people and the anticipation of the shows creates a memorable experience for attendees. NZ Fashion Week is unique in that the shows incorporate understated looks consisting of blacks, whites and neutrals whereas New York Fashion Week tends to vary more on the colour spectrum. NZ Fashion Week seems to reflect the laid back style of attendees with sportier looks versus replicating what’s trending at the moment.
RL: Apart from Miromoda, is there anyone else at NZFW you’re especially looking forward to seeing?
LB: I enjoyed viewing Federation’s collection of baggier silhouettes including loose fitting t-shirts and pants and oversized jackets. I am incredibly keen on viewing World’s collection on Saturday.
RL: And how are you finding Kiwi culture in general?
LB: Kiwi culture is cool, laid back and no fuss, which I love. For a country of its size, it has an incredible amount of global influences that embraces cultural food, fashion and music.
RL: Lastly, what advice would you offer to up-and-comers to the industry?
LB: Remain true to yourself, invest in your craft and build relationships with people across all walks of life. Perfecting your talent is an opportunity to build a strong portfolio of skills to take your craft to the next level. The countless hours spent behind the scenes will not go unnoticed when an individual consistently produces quality work.