Not For You Is Most Definitely For You

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - AUGUST 29: Designer Jerome Taylor walks the runway during the Not For You show during New Zealand Fashion Week 2019 at Auckland Town Hall on August 29, 2019 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Stefan Gosatti/Getty Images)

Jerome Taylor launched Not For You in 2014 as a sell-out capsule collection. Since then, he has gone from strength to strength. A qualified machinist and pattern maker with a Diploma in Fashion Design and Technology from New Zealand Fashion Tech, Taylor has come a long way since his days as a roofer in Lower Hutt.

Taylor has been prominent on the New Zealand fashion scene over the last five years, and his work has certainly been eye-catching. His shows at New Zealand Fashion Week have garnered attention from Newshub, Seven Sharp, the Dominion Post, Vice and Fashion TV.  He has also created garments for musicians Flume and Pusha T, toured the textile industry in India on a Prime Ministers scholarship, been named as an ambassador for NZ Fashion Tech and, on top of being part of the first Project Fashion Wellington in 2017, is now serving as a mentor for designers taking part in the 2018 iteration.

Taylor has always been interested in art, particularly graffiti. “I wasn’t inspired by designers,” he explained. “I was inspired by art, then I came across fashion as a platform to share my art.” It was during his time working as a roofer that he honed his art with the spray can. He went to offer his of his design to a store in Wellington, who wanted to buy them but weren’t willing to give Taylor due credit. “I decided that if it was good enough for them to use then others would be interested as well.”

The next step is to get Not For You on to hangers and shelves in the best retail shops across New Zealand and overseas. He hopes his showing at Vancouver will be another step in achieving this goal. The collection he’ll be showing at Vancouver has been inspired by the increasing rate of poverty in New Zealand. Titled ‘1 in 100’, the collection has three categories: ‘New Zealanders – Pay Check To Pay Check’, ‘New Zealanders – Sleeping In Cars’ and ‘New Zealanders – Homeless’.
“I was overwhelmed with the number of New Zealanders who are homeless – one in 100. Upon discovering this statistic, I came to realise that homelessness is so much more complex then what I once believed. I chose to do my collection on this as I wanted to learn more and share the knowledge with others through this platform I have been given.”

Taylor hopes that by bringing the plight of the homeless to the attention of more people, the country will be reminded and work together to solve the issue. “The more knowledge we have, the more power we have to change situations.”

Taylor’s collection will showcase the three categories in the form of layering and screen-printing information and images in a creative way that tells a story. “I chose the cuts as I wanted over-sized pieces and layering,” he explained. “The fabrics are sourced locally, so it is based not only what I am looking for but also on availability. The fabrics I chose were durable, long-lasting and classic colours as I wanted all the pieces to work together.”

Not For You is currently selling online and through social media channels. “We’re not looking at opening our own store at present, but we are exploring the option of stocking in stores in New Zealand and overseas,” he said. “I have had an amazing response so far from the public and those around me with the garments.”

Taylor wants Not For You to be the premier menswear brand in New Zealand. “I want the men of New Zealand to put on garments and immediately feel more confident to walk out of the house and feel like you can do anything; a big meeting, a pay rise – I want them to accomplish that. It’s armour for men.”