Meet the girl behind the Insta-label
On the first of Feb 2017, Pia Naera relaunch her beloved label PIA Boutique after a year-long hiatus. Miss FQ caught up with the glitter-loving, sequin-rocking, frilly and fabulous fashion designer to learn more about the talent behind the clothing and to find out what’s next for the brand we can’t help but adore…
Miss FQ: Congratulations on the re-launch of PIA – we’ve always loved your designs, so why did you press pause in the first place?
Pia: Yay thank you – have always loved designing! I took a year hiatus due to a personal loss and needed some time out. So excited to be back!
What’s changed between round one and now? Why did you decide that 2017 was the right time to launch?
The timing just felt right, after a year off PIA it helped me realize how much I had missed it and that it was my true passion! We’ve also changed things around a bit by having an online only store. My customers are social media, internet and fashion savvy and I really want to target them by having a ‘2017’ approach. We offer free overnight shipping, free returns (no strings attached). I have also launched a PIA Boutique app which makes online shopping a breeze for my youthful / technology loving customer.
What can we expect from your designs going forward?
You can expect loads of colour, neons, sequins, prints and classic PIA silhouettes along with some new sexy little numbers and designs.
For your loyal customers and fans, which elements from your initial designs will be carried through to now and into the future?
Our most popular PIA shapes can be found in fresh prints and colours – the PIA dress is back along with our Ebony and Teresa Tops, which by looking at the orders coming through our girls are super excited about. Iconic PIA prints and unique use of colour and glitz has also made a come back.
With e-commerce growth and multiple international chain store openings, in a few shorts years a lot has changed in terms of how customers consume fashion. How have you had to adapt your business?
PIA has a unique look that no other brands offer to our market (late teens to mid 20’s). PIA is bold, beautiful, eye-catching and there are so many girls who love colour and print but can’t find anything that caters – so they love shopping with us. We are also ‘keeping up with the play’ by being an online only store and offering an internet savvy girl all she can ask for and more.
How do you describe the PIA-wearing girl?
The PIA girl is youthful, fun, doesn’t mind standing out from the crowd. She’s social, fashion conscious and loves colour and glam. She stays up to date with social media and is always online!
You have such an incredible eye for colour and prints – when did your love of fashion begin?
I was actually thinking about this the other day, at school I designed and made my own ball dresses – and looking back they were totally PIA. I’m like a magpie for colour and sequins and have always been since I can remember.
What is your career story? Did you study fashion and gain work experience with anyone notable?
I studied graphic design and for my end of year project I made some printed dresses. I had so many girls wanting to buy them, that’s where it all started! I started a casual website, and ended up showing at NZFW that year. It all kind of snowballed quite quickly and now here I am!
What advice can you offer to young girls and women who are inspired by your story and want to follow suit?
Having the right people around you is key! Also offering something that stands you apart from everyone else as fashion can be so competitive if you’re offering something that can be found elsewhere.
What does being a millennial mean to you?
Being a millennial is who my customer is. Confident, technology savvy, loves being in the public eye. Understands the power of social media / online presence, keeps up and adapts constantly.