Sir Edmund Hillary’s grandchildren walk the runway in clothing branded in his honour at New Zealand Fashion Week.
By Carolyn Enting
August 28 (2018) was a family runway moment as well as modelling debut for Sir Ed’s grandsons George and Alexander Hillary, the faces of the new Edmund Hillary range, while granddaughter Lily Hillary also made a special appearance.
As the three led the collection finale of the new premium heritage menswear brand one couldn’t help but feel that Sir Ed would have been proud, and for fashion followers at the show it was a “goosebump moment” perhaps akin to when Sir Ed “knocked the bastard off”.
What Sir Ed would think of his name being a premium heritage clothing line is another question but his family would know and son Peter Hillary is co-founder of the brand.
Peter Hillary says the new brand will help ensure the legacy of his father lives on. “In line with his charitable work, a percentage of the sale of every Edmund Hillary garment goes to support causes that were close to Ed’s heart – helping the people of Nepal, and outdoor activities for young people in the UK, New Zealand and Nepal.”
The range is taking a season-less approach, and will be available year-round through edmundhillary.com, with the aim that no piece will be out of fashion at the end of any season.
Like the 1953 expedition, the collection is a collaboration between New Zealand, Great Britain and Nepal – with the highest quality fabrics ethically sourced from around the world, and manufactured mainly in Europe, the UK and New Zealand.
Edmund Hillary Brands Ltd CEO Mike Hall-Taylor, who co-founded the brand alongside Peter Hillary (Sir Edmund’s son), says it was very exciting to see the range revealed after so many years in development.
Thirty looks were shown on the runway – including replicas of jackets and knitwear worn by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay in 1953, with new fabric and design features that make them ideal urbanwear, while also functional outdoors.
Although not technical climbing gear, the jackets have been worn by Peter, George and Alexander Hillary on three recent climbing expeditions, as part of their quest to summit the seven highest peaks on each continent.
“The debut collection aims to capture the essence of Sir Edmund Hillary, with our focus on limited edition, premium quality fashion garments inspired by the 1953 expedition of Mt Everest. These are investment pieces, created for the adventurous at heart, and will appeal to those who value quality, heritage and the socially responsible nature of the brand,” says Hall-Taylor.
The garments – each produced in small quantities – are now available online at edmundhillary.com.
Good’s verdict is that this is a very wearable collection indeed, as well as worthy.