One half of the original Lonely Hearts founding duo, Aimee McFarlane, has left the company to take up the head womenswear designer role at Huffer. According to McFarlane, “In any relationship there are always highs and lows, but I still think Lonely Hearts is great. When it’s time to move on, it’s time to move on.” She’ll begin her role at Huffer designing the winter 2011 womenswear collection that will show at New Zealand Fashion Week in September.
Huffer holds a huge chunk of the local menswear and skate/surf/snowboarding market (their branded tee shirts and quirky sportswear inspired fashion collections are constant hits), but has struggled to carve out a real identity for themselves in the womenswear sector. Last year the company collaborated with Miss Crabb’s Kristine Crabb on a womenswear collection, but what many hoped would be a continued relationship turned out to be a one-season-only deal. With McFarlane’s proven design talent and Huffer’s reach and offshore production capabilities, the new relationship could be particularly successful for both parties.
Aimee McFarlane and Helene Morris established Lonely Hearts in Wellington back in 2003 with ex-professional snowboarder Steve Ferguson (who, coincidentally, used to work for Huffer), then made the move up to Auckland in 2006. The label made its name in womenswear but recently introduced a lingerie line to the fold. Ella Sarjant, former lead designer for Stella McCartney Lingerie and Elle Macpherson Afterwear for Bendon, has just come onboard to design the lingerie.
Lonely Hearts wished McFarlane well for the future, and said that they’re currently hard at work “putting the finishing touches on [their] new Spring Summer collection.”
No doubt all of the above will have something quite different to present come New Zealand Fashion Week in September. We’ll await developments with keen interest.
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