Published on January 30, 2022 at 00:50
Gisborne fashion designer Julie Puddick has gone from designing in a cafe to a need for bigger and bigger spaces, as her Japanese-inspired designs are taken up by fashion houses in the nation’s capital. She spoke to Aaliyah Rogan about her passion for fashion.
Julie Puddick is a fashion forward thinker who likes to dress and feel good, and never has an excuse not to.
She studied fashion design in the early 1980s and her brand, Masami Clothing, offers unique, bespoke clothing.
Fashion design was something Julie always wanted to do as she loves clothes and fabrics. Her mother had sewn, so she was always in the business of designing and making clothes.
“I could never find the right pattern or style on Butterick or Vogue, so I wanted to know how to do it myself,” she said.
She established Masami Clothing in 2016, fulfilling her dream.
Her brand has a Japanese aesthetic, comfortable yet elegant and unique to wear, she said.
“Masami” translates to “graceful beauty”, and Masami Clothing evolved from Rubies Design, named after Julie’s grandmother.
Prior to Masami Clothing, Julie worked on alterations and designs at Aviary Collective in Gisborne, where Rubies Design was based.
“I felt like I needed a change and I needed to know I could do it,” she said.
Masami Clothing is now located above Muirs Bookshop after a stint at Far East Coffee Gisborne.
“I rented a room there and it was tiny,” she said.
“I had passed it and I’m here now, and I’ve really passed that.”
She points to a space filled with fabrics and clothes racks.
Masami Clothing started turning heads when Julie visited a market in Wellington. She then offered a small range to The Service Depot in Wellington, and they took on Masami Clothing. His brand is also sold at the Designer Clothing Gallery in Greytown.
Julie has decided that she will be on the road at some point this year, on a tiki tour through New Zealand with pop-up stores. In 2020, she opened a pop-up in Auckland’s Ponsonby Central.
“It went really well, a lot of customers came because they saw that I was going to be there, so it was humbling to know that I had a good audience,” she said. declared.
Julie is planning her next pop-up stores in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.
Originally from Wellington, Julie lived there and in Auckland with her husband for six years. Once she had her two sons, her family decided to call Gisborne their new home.
“It was a perfect lifestyle for the boys and it worked well for them, they always want to come back,” she said.
Her main creative inspiration is fabric.
“It’s all about comfort and fabric,” she said.
She wore Masami’s white puffin pants with an old shirt she had made years ago.
“I made a shirt and I’ve never made another, but I should.”
Julie draws inspiration from many well-known Japanese and other high-end designers such as Jil Sander and Mother of Pearl.
“I love the Mother of Pearl aesthetic, and she’s a great role model for the world because of her durability,” Julie said.
The fashion industry is notorious for its waste and Julie tries to minimize waste as much as possible with her brand.
The Hospice Shop donates much of its textiles and haberdashery and it upcycles or recycles items. She also often uses vintage fabrics.
Masami Clothing offers one-of-a-kind items and bespoke clothing.
Due to Covid, business has been tough at times as fabric can be hard to come by and prices have gone up, she said.
“You have to reshuffle things and really rethink the whole process.”
She still considers herself lucky because every morning she walks along the beach with her dog, goes swimming and does 20 minutes of yoga before starting work at 9am.
ONE OF A KIND: Julie Puddick holding one of her Masami Clothing garments in her studio and retail space above Muirs Bookstore. Photo by Liam Clayton
MEET THE MAKER: Julie Puddick makes all her clothes by hand and is currently working on a new special piece for MAasami Clothing. Photo by Liam Clayton