Annie Bonza has wowed the New Zealand fashion scene with her vibrant and offbeat design style for more than 50 years. This exhibition features a striking selection of Annie’s works, revealing the hallmarks of that style - a spectacular sense of colour and a love of surface embellishment.
The fashion-conscious of the late 1960s and early 1970s knew the Bonza style well. Annie was a pioneer of boutique fashion. Her funky Auckland stores attracted much attention and led to various commissions for television. Annie’s win at the 1971 Benson & Hedges (now Smokefree) Fashion Design Awards cemented her name in the ‘Who’s who?’ of fashion.
In the 1980s, Dame Catherine Tizard (then Mayor of Auckland) and television personality Joanna Paul were among the big names on her client list. In 1989, Annie again took top honours at the Benson & Hedges awards.
But life for Annie hasn’t all been high flying. Exhausted after years of intense creative output, she moved to the Cook Islands in 1977. There she took fresh inspiration from the environment and people and began designing again, staying until 1984. She returned to the Cooks in 1996 and has lived there ever since.
A reporter once described Annie’s Auckland boutique as a ‘magic garden’. Experience Annie’s colourful world for yourself.