FASHION DESIGN GRADUATE
The evolution of Blair’s label BW 36.174 from inception to present day, with the opening of his new high-end store in Anzac Ave; Auckland, really began when he chose to study Fashion Design at Whitecliffe. Coming from an all-boys school with little focus on arts and design presented a creative student like Blair with challenges. Blair required an arts and design school that supported and encouraged risk-taking and creative thinking, which led him to Whitecliffe. On this decision, Blair says “Whitecliffe served as a catalyst for my development, my brand BW and my vision.”
Throughout his time at Whitecliffe Blair challenged the conventional idea of fashion and its expectations and was supported by Whitecliffe faculty in doing so. He continues to push boundaries using unconventional materials such as the application of fabric deconstruction and manipulation to create one off, made-to-measure avant-garde garments. His brand ethos is crafted around the manipulation of organic and inorganic materials and the exploration of fabric experimentation. He takes his inspiration from alchemy and applies this to his pieces, allowing for the demonstration of raw materiality.
Whitecliffe industry ties worked well for Blair while he was a student, giving him the opportunity to work with a range of designers, stylists and photographers. Blair says “I was noticed through our end-of-year fashion shows, and have built strong relationships with important people in the fashion industry, with whom I still work with today.”
Blair’s label BW 36.174 geographically maps the longitude and latitude of Auckland New Zealand, where each garment has been crafted by hand. The idea for the industrial-styled store, which has been opened in collaboration with a hair designer, is that it will be a constantly creative hub of activity. Blair has crafted his vision from scratch and has personally put everything into making his vision a reality.