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Meet the team: Leonie and Sam from the Wardrobe department

World of WearableArt

The WOW Competition & Wardrobe team are thrilled to announce two new job roles for beloved wardrobe members: Leonie Trathen and Sam Brown.

Regular WOW designers will know Leonie has been part of the WOW whānau since 1990, starting as a WOW model and becoming the highly valued Queen of garments backstage during the WOW Show season. Leonie is taking on the role of Wardrobe & Activations Manager, which leads the key part of our business where garments come alive.  

In close collaboration with the Garment, Collection & Costume Manager, they will provide an essential kaitiaki/guardian role to our designers’ work as they journey through judging, model to garment pairing, rehearsals, show and tactical activations. This role straddles the garment journey between Nelson and Wellington and back with a full Competition-to-Show life cycle in mind.

“I am thrilled to be part of an amazing team in my new role doing what I love and loving what I do. Working up close with the most incredible designs and hearing the stories behind them; the people that create them are just so inspiring.” - Leonie Trathen
Leonie with models wearing Chrysanthemum & Amphitrite by Jack Irving from United Kingdom

While newer to the WOW team, you are sure to recognise some of Sam’s prolific film career, where she worked in the costume department for epic films such as – The Lord of the Rings series, The Chronicles of Narnia, King Kong, Ghost in the Shell, Mortal Engines – not to mention costume making for Love Actually and Die Another Day – we are thrilled to welcome Sam into the new role of Garment, Collection & Costume Manager.  

Sam Brown, in the wardrobe department.

This role manages and leads the team that care for WOW garments, mostly while in a static state. In collaboration with the Wardrobe & Activations Manager, they provide an essential kaitiaki/guardian role to our designers’ work as they arrive, stay with or leave WOW, or when they become part of the WOW Historic Garment Collection.  

Additionally, this role leads the Costume team at show who handle the co-design, creation, construction, maintenance of costuming for the show season.

“I am excited to be the Garment Collection and Costume Manager and to continue with WOW in Nelson and Wellington. I enjoy working with the fantastic Wardrobe Garment team as we embrace the role of kaitiaki, caring for the garments through their WOW journey.  I am also thrilled to be leading the Costume team with Gabrielle Stevenson creating the amazing atmosphere to showcase the competition garments.  I look forward to seeing your new entries for the 2024 competition!” - Sam Brown  

Both will be based in the Nelson, New Zealand office and we can’t wait to see what this dream team create together with their amazing teams.

The WOW team at first judging this year.

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