Bridget Morgan has been Kapeka head designer since 1998. What made Bridget become a designer? What inspires her when she designed her latest collection? We asked her 12 questions such as her favourite thing to wear, her inspiration in fashion design.....
Q1. What is the first thing you normally do when you wake up in the morning? Have a cup of tea & plan the day with my husband & daughter. Q2. Tell us one important thing that you can’t live without? Nature - beaches and mountains, I recharge in nature and designing Kapeka feels so right as it is based on nature. Q3. What influence does New Zealand natural landscape have on you & your design? New Zealand is a unique part of the world, a country that is spectacularly beautiful, rugged and often untouched. No place in the world has this special lifestyle, unique culture and natural landscapes. This translates into our knitwear with Nature as the designer it needs minimal intervention we take the natural fiber & use natural processes to create stunning beautiful garments. They have the look of effortless style even though many hours of work has gone into crafting each piece. Q4. You have worked with a fashion design team in Italy before, what impact did it have on you?
The Italians are masters in design & textiles it has left me with a strong sense of style & classic timeless design influence.
Q5. Any unforgettable comments or compliments from your customers on your designs you could share with us? Many customers comment that once they start wearing their Kapeka knitwear they don’t want to take it off. Some customers say that they have many people come up to them to ask where they have got their beautiful garment from and this makes them feel special. Q6. Tell us the moment that you decided that Fashion Design is your career for life? I was always interested in fashion and clothes. As a child I would sometimes wear 10 different outfits in one day. My teachers at school didn’t always approve of my outfits which often pushed the envelope! I started knitting and making my own clothes from age 10 and then making for friends and family. This carried on through university at art school. Then when my first commercial knitwear collection sold out in record time I knew then that I could make a career out of it. I always say though that I am only as good as my last collection! Q7. What is your favourite thing to wear?
Would have to be jeans & t - shirt with a kapeka sweater.
Q8. What does knitting mean to you? I love to visit the manufactures & see it all being put together - feeling the different fabrics. I believe great fashion makes you feel good about yourself. I have always been interested in natural and knitted fabrics. Knits gives the wearer a level of comfort and are ideal for a busy active lifestyle. Q9. In terms of fashion design, do you have any personal rules that you must follow? Clothes need to not only be stylish and flattering but also comfortable. Q10. What is your favourite piece of Kapeka and why do you love it so much?
The Kapeka Mahana Relax cardigan, so versatile I can wear it anywhere - casual or for work and in the evening over a dress. I wear mine all seasons over summer top or layer up for winter. It comes in Stream, Dusk & Camellia.
Q11. Tell us about the fashion designer/s you admire?
We have many talented designers here in New Zealand & I have had the privilege of working with some of them. New Zealand has some of the best design development & manufacturing in the world.
Q12. What role should fashion play in creating a better tomorrow?
There needs to be a focus on natural, quality fashion that lasts the test of time. The world needs to stop relying on synthetic based fibres not only for preservation of the natural environment but also natural fibres are better for your health and wellbeing.
More about Bridget & Kapeka:
Bridget Morgan is the Creative Director for New Zealand made Kapeka™ Fashion. Bridget studied fine Arts; design, photography, film, painting & sculpture at Canterbury University, applying this knowledge and experience to fashion design, specialising in New Zealand’s high quality natural fibres. Prior to working with Kapeka™, Bridget worked for a number of companies developing fashion collections that were sold into Asia, USA, Europe & Australia, as well as designing and consulting for a number of famous New Zealand brands, as well as for the New Zealand Winter Olympic Team. Over the years, Bridget has trained and worked in fashion in Italy with an Italian Design team, Japan with Prada, and in North America with North Face. Bridget has also been both an entrant and judge for various New Zealand fashion awards. In particular, Bridget has designed garments for International figures, including a former US President, New Zealand’s current Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and also the Emperor of Japan. Kapeka™ means “branch of river, tree or family” in Te Reo (Maori, the indigenous language of New Zealand). Following extensive R&D, the Kapeka™ collection was launched in 1998 under Merinosilk™ reflecting the unique fibres; the first 100% natural Possum & Merino knitwear range that was also blended with silk, resulting in a superfine 17 Micron merino, delivering the highest quality merino knitwear available in New Zealand and the rest of the world. The team at Kapeka led by Bridget, conducted further extensive R&D to the develop 4 specialised fabrics unique to Kapeka all incorporating this amazing fibre including Kapeka Merinosilk™ and Kapeka Mahana™. Kapeka through Bridget has focussed on “Eco fibres”, as a way to contribute to the sustainability of the environment and provide the best possible garments. Kapeka is a naturally New Zealand concept offering a unique blend of innovation and creativity that celebrates New Zealand fashion and culture, through environmentally sustainable inventiveness. Through Bridget, the Kapeka™ fashion team maintains a strong focus on design & research, continually developing new ideas & technology, leading the world on the development of new fibres, yarns, fabrics and manufacturing techniques, all based on natural fibres. Bridget passionately believes that “the world needs to stop relying on synthetic fibres not only for preservation of the natural environment but also because natural fibres are better for your health & wellbeing”.
Bridget lives on the beautiful Waiheke Island with her husband & daughter a 30mins ferry ride from Kapeka Head office in Auckland.