Last Friday the Commerce Commission announced that the WORLD fashion label had accepted it had likely breached the law over false garment labels and that it had made enforceable undertakings to the regulator as a result. This morning, in an interview on The AM Show, the company’s founder and frontperson professed not to know anything about it, writes Dan Satherley in this report for Newshub
Denise L’Estrange-Corbet, founder of the World fashion label, doesn’t want to talk about her brand’s brush with the Commerce Commission.
She’d rather chat about the slaughter of Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
World last week admitted it likely breached trading rules by selling clothing made in China and Bangladesh with labels that said “Fabrique en Nouvelle-Zelande” – French for “Made in New Zealand”.
But asked about it by AM Show host Duncan Garner on Monday, Dame Denise bizarrely claimed she didn’t know what he was talking about.
“What stuff was that, Duncan? I knew you were going to throw that in. I don’t even know what you’re talking about.”
“Can we talk about the Khashoggi thing? I find that so interesting.”
Mr Khashoggi was a dissident Saudi journalist and Washington Post columnist who died in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, reportedly dismembered. During his long journalism career, Mr Khashoggi covered international conflicts and Middle Eastern issues – there’s no evidence he was interested in fashion.
After pivoting the interview to mental health issues – Dame Denise has worked with the Mental Health Foundation for decades now – Garner brought up the label issue again.
“I’m going to accept then if it’s made in New Zealand, it’s made in New Zealand,” he told her.
“Um, OK,” she replied. “Next question.”
World has promised it won’t use the “Fabrique en Nouvelle-Zelande” tags on imported clothing anymore, and will refund anyone who bought imported clothes under the mistaken belief they were locally made.
With all eyes on the royal couple this week, you’d expect Dame Denise to have her fingers crossed Meghan or Harry don a piece she’s designed. The Duchess has already been seen wearing Karen Walker.
But Dame Denise is ambivalent, and isn’t even convinced they’ll boost business.
“I find it quite weird that people just see someone famous wearing something – you know, Beyonce or something – and they run out and want to own it. It doesn’t turn you into Beyonce.”
She hasn’t sent anything to the royal couple for their consideration.
“We never do freebies. We never, ever have sent anyone anything for free for them to wear. It’s just not what we do at World. Staff are artisans at what they do, and I feel it’s an insult to give stuff away free… If you want it, you pay for it.”
to our journalism!Find Out More
She said having “Joe Bloggs” wear World clothing means just as much to her as any royal.
“Everyone wears clothes.”
This report was originally published at Newshub.
The Spinoff’s business section is enabled by our friends at Kiwibank. Kiwibank backs small to medium businesses, social enterprises and Kiwis who innovate to make good things happen.
The Spinoff Daily gets you all the days' best reading in one handy package, fresh to your inbox Monday-Friday at 5pm.