Aucklanders Killin' It: Miss Crabb
You’ll know her for the silky-dream that is the iconic 'Summertime' dress - we sit down with Kristine Crabb (Miss Crabb herself) in her airy Grey-Lynn studio to talk fashion and girl-boss secrets for this fab edition of Aucklander’s Killin’ It.
Her journey to becoming the go-to for lush clothing is full of inspo moments. A fresh fashion grad from a small Matamata farming town and lacking the luxury of an ‘in’ onto the fashion scene, Kristine hustled her way into the market. Her first label, 'Rip, Shit and Bust' got her in with Natalija Kucija, who eventually offered her the beautiful exposed-brick Ponsonby store where Miss Crabb now resides. “I didn’t know if it was going to work, I’ve always made buzzy clothes. It was real scary to have a shop and overheads and marketing, the first two years I was thinking what the eff have I done?”
The cult-favourite 'Summertime' dress is the star of many balls, bridal parties and events alike but in its humble beginnings it marked an iconic moment in Miss Crabb history. Lacking inspiration and fighting self-doubt, Kristine hit the studio in between looking after her one year old in an attempt to design a winner. “I thought I would have to shut down, and then I had a eureka moment. It was four basic steps, and from there it totally transformed my business and so many beautiful pieces followed”.
Her latest collection is an expression of freedom, bursting with beautiful blues, peaches and florals. Each item flows from a geometric shape (think circles, squares and triangles), cut on the bias with a sprinkling of conceptual influence from seasonal trends. Every beautiful garment is birthed in studio, with the team putting in a major effort to source Auckland-based machinists and quality materials – a massive win for ethical fashion.
Full of excitement and a desire to get things growing, Kristine has been known to give young designers a kind word and head-start in the industry. As an infant label, Miss Crabb faced setbacks and the recession, yet a desire to stay true to her vision and an eagerness to learn has seen the brand reign as a staple in the New Zealand fashion landscape and she is inspired to pass on her learnings. Her advice to young girl-bosses, “have faith in what you’re doing, meet as many people as possible and be open-minded because fortune favours the bold”.
Kristine’s role has changed as the business has grown, now you are more likely to find her in the studio hands full of admin, creative direction and lots of chatting – but she will always have time for her craft, “I love cutting patterns I’ll be doing that until the end, that is the basis for everything.”
The Down Low:
Best beats for inspiration?
Favourite Miss Crabb item ever?
The 'Witches' dress
Biggest fashion regret?
My anti-fashion phase when I was studying, hard makeup, crazy hair – everything was like I was yelling!
What can’t you live without?
Dancing and music
Fave fashion era?
Right now! It’s so exciting I love what’s happening, we have the most freedom.
Describe Miss Crabb in three words
Singular, party, love/life