I Wish: Fashion designer Kate Sylvester belongs to the world’s most exclusive gym

She's been a mainstay of the local fashion scene for over 25 years, but Kate Sylvester only recently discovered the joys of exercise.


She’s been a mainstay of the local fashion scene for over 25 years, but Kate Sylvester only recently discovered the joys of exercise.

Kate Sylvester and her namesake fashion label have been mainstays of the local fashion scene for over 25 years.

His latest collection, Portrait, based on the work of 1990s photographer Peter Lindbergh, has just hit retail stores. It would have been shown at Fashion Week, which was canceled due to red light restrictions.

Sylvester, a mother of three teenage children, lives in Auckland, where she runs her business with her husband Wayne Conway.

She answers some questions for us.

I wish, 10 years ago, I would have known… how good regular exercise is.

I’ve always been an incredibly lazy person and recently I’ve been doing really good aerobic and strength training three to five times a week and that’s fantastic. I do it at home, so I belong to the most exclusive gym in the world with a membership of one.

I find energetic and aerobic is really cool. It’s the health benefits, but I also think the mental health benefits are huge. I just can’t believe how incredibly positive this has been for me. So exercise!

I wish I could trade lives with… Zoi Sadowski-Synnott because, oh my, that great stuff he makes looks so amazing and I would never, ever have the guts to do it myself.

So to be her and experience that would be amazing.

I wish I could eat every day…A while ago I would have said chili chocolate. What I discovered is that you really don’t want to do that because you get tired of something you really love.

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I think it’s great no eat what you love every day. The fact that I love oysters is partly because I don’t eat them very often.

Seasonality is also fantastic. You know, the first feijoas of the season, the first cherries of the season.

I wish I could live in…Oaxaca in Mexico. I’ve been there a couple of times and love it.

I have this plan that one day we will move there. Not permanently, but I would love to live there for six months or a year and learn to weave because they have an amazing artisan community and amazing traditional crafts.

The person I wish was on a ticket is… Helen Clark

I am very proud of New Zealand politics. I think our politics is incredibly nice, civilized, intelligent and supportive compared to many political environments around the world.

I think a big part of that is that we have such a strong female presence in all political parties. Helen Clark was the pioneer and she did an amazing job. She is a great role model for people.

The noise I wish I never heard again is…aquatic bikes. I absolutely hate them.

We have a bach in Mangawhai Harbor and it is just idyllic and beautiful. You have terns breeding and people collecting pipi and sailing and it’s all so lovely and serene, and then you have these gas heads in the water.

I wish I could spend a Sunday with… my mother, but before that she had extremely serious and severe dementia. I would love to have my mother with pre-dementia for one day.

It would be an incredibly special gift because I miss her. It’s a weird thing with dementia. They may still be alive, but you miss them and mourn them terribly.

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I wish more people could… do things – anything. I think it’s a shame that we’ve become too passive. People need to put down their phones and turn off Netflix and sew things and weave things and build things and grow things.

Once again, it’s incredibly positive. I started crafting myself and it’s something I find incredibly positive and rewarding. Making your own stuff is great.

Kate Sylvester recently started crafting.


Kate Sylvester recently started crafting.

I wish New Zealand was more… green. Climate change is completely terrifying and no government in the world is doing enough to try to correct what is happening, so the clock is ticking.

Choose one:

Novel/ Biography

pass it on/ At the cinema

play list/ full album

Cook/ Garden

House/ Travel

Spring/ Fall

Museum/ Art Gallery

roses/ paeony

Fashion Week/ Arts Festival

Chocolate/Cheese Late Night/ early start

trainers / High heels

Board game/ Puzzle

Travel/ Holidays in the city

dawn/ Sunset

Nectarine/ Peach

new dress/ old favorite

Swimming pool/ Ocean

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