Suspicions of inside job as over 1500 garments stolen from Trelise Cooper's Auckland showroom

Kiwi fashion designer Dame Trelise Cooper is hundreds of thousands of dollars out of pocket after her Auckland showroom was the target of a weekend heist.

More than 1500 garments were stolen, raising suspicions it could've been an inside job. 

"My financial manager rang me and said there's been a burglary - and man, they have wiped out every single sample that we had," Dame Trelise told Newshub.

They didn't just steal a look, but two seasons worth of new sample clothing with a big price tag. 

"Finance team mentioned a million [dollars]. I don't think it's quite that, but it's up there," she said.

The showroom was targeted sometime over the weekend, but the building's alarm never went off.

Two members of the police forensics team have already visited the scene. The point of entry that the thieves broke through looks less like a door and more like an air vent. It was also blocked off by boxes. 

"It's such an odd entry point and one that we didn't even really realise was there, that I think somebody must have spied it at some point," Dame Trelise said.

That's raised suspicions it could've been an inside job.

"I think it's probably associated with somebody close inside, but it's definitely something that's been planned," said private investigator Julia Hartley Moore.

And with such distinctive designs, Moore says it's unlikely they'll be on-sold locally. 

"They could be re-labelled, they could be put on a website and sent to somewhere like Macau," she said.

But if they are flogged off here, there's one way to tell.  

"In our sample garments, there are no care labels," Dame Trelise explained.

The building had no CCTV, but Dame Trelise's team are reviewing footage from neighbouring cameras. 

In the meantime, the outlet has charity parades and VIP events, but no clothes to put on show - runaway garments leaving the runway just as empty as their showroom.