There are many reasons for Deidre Ussher to celebrate the new spring season not least the one-year anniversary of her ownership of Queenstown flagship fashion store Angel Divine combined with the launch of a new outlet in Arrowtown.
“It’s been a whirlwind 12 month. Initially we planned to take this first year slowly but it’s exceeded our expectations and we are delighted to have now already opened our second Angel Divine store, expanding to Arrowtown.”
Deirdre is savouring stepping back into the fashion world after a 20-year hiatus from the industry.
Her love of clothing and design stems from her childhood.
“My mother was a seamstress producing bespoke dresses and also had a business making motorcycle jackets, so I used to help out after school and really grew up in the industry. I then studied fashion design in Timaru and worked in fashion retail while establishing a sideline making wedding and bridesmaid dresses, including my own. Pattern making is my passion but eventually I gave it up when I started a family – babies and pins don’t work well together.”
Deidre and her husband Jonathan own a large dairy farming operation in North Canterbury and with her children away at school, she decided 2020 was the time to restart her fashion journey.
“I didn’t want to be sitting around waiting for my children to return home and needed something else to focus on other than my wonderful large garden at the farm. I was considering starting up designing again then Jonathon and I were spending time in Queenstown with some other investments and Angel Divine came up for sale – so it was a serendipitous opportunity.”
“Angel Divine has a successful legacy of representing high end designer fashion and it’s been amazing to step back in at this level,” she says. “The store gives me the best of both worlds –
spending time with creative designers and customers, then I go back to farm life in Canterbury which is a refreshing balance.”
Key brands instore include Zambezi, Karen Walker, Kate Sylvester, P.E. Nation, Marle, Harris Tapper, Ulla Johnson and high-flying British brand Holland Cooper.
“The Queenstown store is one that any women of any age will come to and automatically connect with the brands and love our offerings in our industrial gallery type space in Searle Lane. It’s an eclectic experience showcasing the very best designer fashion.”
Angel Divine in Arrowtown
Angel Divine owner Deidre Ussher always intended to have two stores under the same name and says Arrowtown is the perfect location for the high-profile fashion shop’s second home.
“Design is my background and I have loved creating the new store’s interior. We have installed gorgeous wooden floors, wainscotting on the walls, bespoke iron clothing rails made by Mrs Robinsons in Tarras and a stunning, long antique table to create a glamourous English country feeling. I want Arrowtown women to recognise our style as similar to their own homes and to discover our beautiful garments and products that reflect their lifestyle.”
Deidre says most of the leading designer collections in the Queenstown store are also represented in Arrowtown and she is particularly excited about showcasing a larger range of luxury British fashion brand Holland Cooper.
“The market has responded amazingly well to this range with women saying they had been looking for coats like these for years. The quality, tailoring and fabrics are second to none and we have exclusively imported the brand into New Zealand. We are particularly proud to be the very first to represent Holland Cooper in the southern hemisphere. We will be adding their new skiwear, beautiful long Sherpa lined Wellington boots and lovely down jackets instore.”
New Zealand label Gregory is also new to the Arrowtown store, which is located in the alleyway off Buckingham Street next to Goldies café, along with Baobab luxury candles.
“The Baobab collection of elegant candles are designed in Belgium, made in Europe and inspired by faraway places,” says Deidre. “Each is handcrafted with the most divine fragrances and comes in exquisite, mouth blown glass vessels that can be used as vases once the candle is finished. They are quite magnificent and make a beautiful display in any home.”