Stolen Girlfriends Club designer Marc Moore on nailing inclusive but unique fashion

Marc Moore likes to put on a little bit of a spectacle. It's what he's known for.

Fresh out the other side of NZ Fashion Week, the Stolen Girlfriends Club creative director is opening up about the designer label - now in its 14th year - and his inclusive approach to fashion is reassuring.

Speaking in his Grey Lynn showroom, he says nailing a look is all about personal opinion. Just like art, it's super subjective.

"I like to see someone that dresses differently to everyone else. That's a big thing for me," he told Newshub.

"If I see someone that hasn't dressed like someone famous, or someone they saw on Instagram or someone they saw in a magazine, I think that's pretty cool."

He says coming up with unique ideas was the reason he got into fashion.

"I wanted to make clothes for people that didn't want to look like everyone else. It's about vehicles of self-expression."

'Stolen', as the brand is affectionately known, launched in 2005 after Moore and two friends continued to develop an art project.

The 43-year-old says the transition from hobby to business was a crazy one. The three founders juggled their passion with relationships, other enterprises and children, but through it all the brand remained Moore's priority. 

"I've felt like it's always been my baby. I named the baby and came up with the art show at the start, so perhaps I've had more of a connection with it," he says. 

"It's naturally meant that I've been the one to stay at the helm and steer the ship."

It hasn't been all smooth sailing, but through difficulties and doubtful moments they always made it to the next show. 

He says 2015 through to 2017 were particularly challenging years, with partnership changes, differences of direction within the team, and a changing approach to operations.

At the same time, more and more brands were launching on large scales, generating buzz across social media.

"I wouldn't go back to then if someone paid me," Moore jokes.

"It was terrible, but you know the cliche 'what doesn't kill you makes you stronger'... I feel better now having gone through it, but I don't want to go through it again."

Moore says he knows what it's taken to keep going while others fall, with his motivation stemming from some of their early critique. 

"We were once that brand that a lot of people thought was a flash in the pan, I remember when people in the industry said 'oh these guys are just turkeys and they're not going to be around for that long'.

"It gave us a bit of drive, to prove people wrong."

models in Stolen Girlfriends Club
Models walk the runway during the NZFW show last week. Photo credit: Supplied/David Watson Photography.

Commerciality is a must in the fashion industry, he explains. Appeal must come from a product that consumers can buy or enjoy.

"If you don't have that and you're still riding the tails of your hype, you're not going to be around that long."

On Wednesday, Moore, his team and models were joined by 1800 guests at the mercy of the weather gods, with no cover sheltering Stolen's electric runway show during New Zealand Fashion Week.

A light shower drizzled down but failed to hinder the show or dampen spirits.

As he moves forward, now approaching 15 years, Moore says success comes from finding what makes you happy and learning to be grateful for the things you have.