Kathryn Wilson has established herself as New Zealand’s premier footwear designer in just a decade, growing from a fledgling designer to becoming an influential business woman with a brand that is in constantly high demand.
After graduating from Massey University and winning an AMP Scholarship, Kathryn honed her design skills and set about creating her own line of footwear. In 2003, under the guidance of successful New Zealand design house Caroline Sills, Kathryn Wilson the label was born. Since then, Kathryn Wilson has emerged as one of the fastest-growing fashion brands in New Zealand. Stocked in over 100 local boutiques and with an ever-growing online market, the label is on the front foot in the fashion industry.
Along with this dynamic and positive growth has come a need for the brand to become more robust. In 2011 Kathryn Wilson launched a more affordable line, titled ‘Miss Wilson’ with an accessible price point and more varied style options. Later that year Kathryn opened her first retail store in the form of a pop-up shoe box that travelled New Zealand, and this has since been joined by a stand-alone store in Auckland’s bustling Britomart precinct. These moves have seen the company grow enormously.
Her acute business acumen has also meant Kathryn is in demand as a leader and brand ambassador, garnering the attention of global brands like BMW, Veuve Clicquot, Orly, Sanpellegrino, Vodafone and MorrocanOil to become long-term supporters of herself and the brand. Locally, Kathryn has remained a driving force in fashion, hosting a New Zealand first exclusive footwear runway show at New Zealand Fashion Week in 2010, followed by a huge social media-driven show at the same event in 2011, which saw over 2,500 people attend.
Now entering its second decade in business, Kathryn Wilson is set to be a wardrobe staple for Kiwi women and men for years to come, and has already left its mark on the fashion industry.