Profile - Christina Perriam
Christina Perriam attended St Hilda’s as a boarder from 1992-1996. From an early age, she had a passion for anything creative, and has always loved fashion. Christina is currently the director and designer of the PERRIAM brands.
Christina grew up on Bendigo Station in the Central Otago high country. Bendigo is recognised throughout New Zealand as being one of the pioneering stations of the country’s merino industry, largely through the efforts of her father, John, and late mother, Heather. Christina was bitten by the fashion bug at an early age and helped her mother run the family's Merino Shop at Tarras in the school holidays. When she finished St Hilda's, she went on to study at Massey University’s Wellington Fashion School. Her South Island high country upbringing fostered a passion for merino, and she tailored her degree around this fibre as much as possible.
After leaving university she received a number of graduation awards for her work, including showing at Mercedes Fashion Week in Australia, and she was approached by a store to produce her own label garments for their outlets in Auckland and Wellington. In 2001, it was time for more training and she moved to study at the Dunedin Fashion Incubator. In 2007 she was named a Merino Young Ambassador, which saw her travel to the textile mills of Italy to study how wool made the transition from fleece to fashion.
She returned to Tarras after a further 18 months of travel abroad. During this time her mother became sick with cancer and passed away in February 2009. Christina took over her mother’s beloved Merino Shop at Tarras and developed her own label, Christina Perriam, and a babies’ and children’s label, Suprino Bambino. She then decided to exclusively sell her 100% New Zealand-made merino ranges through the Tarras family store and website.
Due to the success of this business model, Christina made the decision to rebrand, choosing the obvious family name PERRIAM to label the new ranges. PERRIAM was launched at the Bendigo Homestead in October 2014. The launch of Little PERRIAM followed in February 2015. PERRIAM Woman and Little PERRIAM are now sold online at www.perriam.co.nz, at the PERRIAM stores in Tarras and Wanaka, and also wholesaled throughout New Zealand.
Made in New Zealand using the finest quality merino available, Christina created PERRIAM as a lifestyle fashion brand that embodies the comfort inherent in the spirit of the high country. PERRIAM now operates out of their head office in Wanaka and they recently opened a Wanaka boutique, which has been a huge success. She continues to strive to grow and develop the brand, and hopes that there will eventually be a chain of high end PERRIAM stores throughout the country and beyond.