Fashion designers back in Christchurch CBD

5:00 AM Wednesday July 26, 2017 Colin Taylor

Boutique fashion outlets Plume and WORLD will relocate to this McKenzie & Willis building on the corner of High and Tuam Sts. Photo / Supplied

It’s great to see High St in the Christchurch CBD reinstated as a destination for boutique designer fashions outlets, says Nick Doig, Director of Retail Leasing at Colliers International in Christchurch.  

Doig says two of New Zealand’s top clothing stores – Plume and WORLD –  will open new boutique stores in Christchurch central city before Christmas

“The pair are relocating to the McKenzie & Willis building on the corner of High and Tuam Sts, close to their pre-earthquake locations. They were neighbours in High Street before the earthquakes,” says Doig.

He says Plume, which stocks NOM*d alongside other leading international labels like Dries Van Noten and Rick Owens, first opened in Cashel Street near the Bridge of Remembrance in 1992. Plume moved to High St, opposite C1 Espresso Cafe, a decade later and since the earthquakes, it has resided in Merivale.

Creative director Margi Robertson says Plume always planned to return to central Christchurch.

“We love to be in the heart of the city and it’s important to us to be part of the return of businesses in the CBD. We looked at several different options but we like this area of town and the surrounding new developments are exciting. We are looking forward to being part of the redevelopment of the CBD and confident of bringing our client base back to the city.

“This is a logical location given its closeness to Cashel Mall and great nearby amenities. In terms of rental levels, it’s an affordable area for many of these design-led stores. We’re in advanced negotiations with several other prominent designers who are eyeing this area of town and want to be close to other high-calibre retailers.”

WORLD Christchurch was situated in the heritage ANZ Chambers at the corner of High and Lichfield Sts for two years before the earthquake destroyed the building and subsequently returned to Christchurch as part of Ballantynes, where it has had a concession space for four years.

Doig says WORLD is scheduled to open its new standalone store on December 1 and at 143sq m, it will be WORLD’s third biggest site in New Zealand.

Designer Benny Castles sees Christchurch as a major growth area of New Zealand

“It’s an attractive location - on the cusp of the city, among other brand names of Christchurch's hospitality and retail sector like C1 Espresso Cafe and Plume. Little High Street Eatery and Madam Woo are also nearby.

“We’re delighted to be able to bring our full collections to Christchurch as well as accompanying brands with points of difference.”

WORLD has six stores in New Zealand - three in Auckland, one in Wellington, and Queenstown and currently at Ballantynes in Christchurch.