1 Oct 2019

Employees at Westpac NZ branches have access to a unique new wardrobe, thanks to a collaboration with award-winning New Zealand fashion label Harman Grubiša.

Unveiled this week, the fresh range of clothing and accessories features more than 30 items designed to be customised to each employee’s style.

Westpac NZ General Manager of Operations, Leanne Lazarus, says the wide range of wardrobe items for men and women reflects the diversity of Westpac’s staff and customers.

“We want our branches to feel friendly and welcoming for all New Zealanders, and that means helping staff feel comfortable and empowered in their fashion choices,” Ms Lazarus says.

“This is not a uniform – it’s a wardrobe that allows our people to mix and match items to showcase their own individual tastes. It includes cultural items, such as a hijab.

“We’ve been helping New Zealanders for nearly 160 years, so it’s great to have a style that reflects our rich Kiwi heritage. We’re always looking for ways to better connect with our customers and we hope they’ll enjoy the new look as much as we do.”

New Zealand’s varied landscape was an inspiration for designers Madeleine Harman and Jessica Grubiša, who developed two unique prints especially for Westpac: a floral Mānuka print and a Prince of Wales check, which they’ve dubbed the “Prince of Westpac”.

“As the range is unique and specific to Westpac, it was important the design was born of local inspiration,” Ms Harman says.

“We introduced the Mānuka motif, a native flower, to symbolise a journey from budding to full bloom. It’s in sync with the bank’s commitment to financial growth for families or new business ventures.”

A key consideration in developing the wardrobe was ensuring it would work for all Westpac people.

“We didn’t want to leave anyone out. It was really important to develop a range of items that would be comfortable, functional and look great on all employees,” Ms Grubiša says.

Westpac suppliers Booker Spalding worked with Harman Grubiša to ensure that the pieces are hard-wearing, durable and comfortable, while also looking good. Westpac workers were involved in the process, and their feedback was key in determining the final designs.

“The product of all of this creative input is a stylish, modern collection of pieces that will work for all shapes and sizes, and all New Zealand climates,” Ms Lazarus says.

Westpac last overhauled its customer-facing wardrobe in 2011.


Editor’s note: captions for the attached photos

  1. Westpac NZ CEO David McLean with staff members (l to r) Ramya Kanagala, Alvina Segran, Tina Baxter and Merv Rowe.
  2. Westpac NZ CEO David McLean with designers Jessica Grubiša (l) with Madeleine Harman (r).
  3. Designers Jessica Grubiša with Madeleine Harman with Westpac staff members Ramya Kanagala (l) and Tina Baxter (r).

About the designers

Harman Grubiša was founded by Jessica Grubiša and Madeleine Harman in 2014. Together, the pair create contemporary, quality womenswear, 100% Made in New Zealand with longevity. They were thrilled to have the opportunity to design Westpac's new wardrobe – their first involvement in menswear – describing it as a "privilege" to direct the creative process.