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Five Minutes With – Holly Norman from Olli


Sans Pareil took five minutes out to chat to the very awesome Holly Norman about her label Olli and what she’ll be bringing to 2019 New Zealand Fashion Week.


What is your background in fashion? Has it always been a passion of yours?

I don’t have much of a background in fashion, but I do have a life-long passion for art that has somehow led me here. 

I did take fabric studies in my final year of high-school but I didn’t make an appearance often. 

What is the main inspiration behind your designs?

I wish to reshape a style/trend/idea that is typically seen as unsightly, into something expressive and luxurious. 

What are some designers that inspire you and why? 

I have discovered some exquisite young designers/fashion graduates recently on Instagram. I admire their level of skill and ability to mix textures and colours so seamlessly, as this is something that I struggle to do. 

You showed at Fashion Week 2018, can you give us the behind the scenes scoop about your experience there? 

The overall experience gave me the warm fuzzies. I met some beautiful people and witnessed some equally beautiful art. Our New Zealand fashion industry is a delightful wee community that I feel privileged to be a part of. 

Where do you source your fabrics and why is this important?

The majority of Olli’s fabrics are recycled materials and I have recently discovered some delicious shades of naturally dyed organic cotton, which will be making their way into our newest body of work. 

The source of our fabrics is an aspect that needs to be considered, as we wish to walk softly on our environment. 

What has been the biggest challenge for you so far and how did you overcome it?

I’m a perfectionist. I have an all or nothing mentality, where if a garment is not perfect then it’s the opposite. I’m learning to be sensible with my workload and understand the value of rest. I’m only human after all. 

How would you describe your process from paper, to studio, to catwalk? 

Very organic and messy. My ‘studio’ is currently my lounge floor, so very hectic indeed. 

Where would you like to be in 10 years’ time?

I hope to create a community of artists and admirers. I do not wish for Olli to be a clothing label, but a whole project of art, people and personality.  

Physically, I would love nothing more than to be somewhere alongside the sun and the sea. 

What can we expect to see from Olli at Fashion Week 2019? 

You can expect a delicate gallery of luxurious streetwear.


You can check out more from Olli on Instagram and at their website




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