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STYLE Insider: Father Rabbit’s Co-founder Claudia Zinzan

When Father Rabbit launched a decade ago, it was a much-needed answer to all of our gift-giving dilemmas. Now as the much-loved brand turns 10, a new type of Father Rabbit – Father Rabbit Select has opened its doors, stocked with some of the most sought-after fashion and beauty brands. We catch up with interior designer by trade and co-founder Claudia Zinzan about the evolution of Father Rabbit and what’s currently on her spring wish list.

To celebrate Father Rabbit turning 10 I’ll… have one hand on the tiller! This year has taught me yet again that you can’t rest on your laurels. Business is hard. I had imagined more of a cruisy year enjoying our 4th store opening and having a sweet party. Fingers crossed we can still celebrate. I am excited to collaborate with Six Barrel Soda again to commemorate with a beautiful Kawakawa & Lime soda syrup that I’ve made sure mixes well with champagne! We have a beautiful 10th birthday candle and tea towel arriving for our customers in October.

Tell us about Father Rabbit Select… Our first mood boards for Father Rabbit 10 years ago included selections of “uniform” style dressing… tees, sneakers, denim. We have dabbled in wardrobe pieces over the last few years and we have achieved a lot of success in this space. For a long time, I have wanted to have a stand-alone apparel store. I had been looking for the right space for a long time.

When the gorgeous store in Kent Street came up, I sprung into action. All those brands that we love now have a home that really shows them off. Father Rabbit Select also is about exhibiting new brands and giving light to brands that don’t always get to show off their full potential.

One of Father Rabbit Select’s fashion brands, Anna Quan.

My current Father Rabbit wish list consists of… I literally just purchased the life-saving Bellroy Tech Kit. When I first saw it I had to have it. Turns out everyone needs one! They have been selling like hotcakes. It’s only a bag that holds plugs, chargers and stuff like that but I feel so organised with it. That and the Nautical 2021 diary by Father Rabbit.


My advice for buying gifts for people that have it all is… Be a bit risky. Sometimes “people who have it all” don’t always have it all! Everybody still needs to feel wanted and loved. Write a card with how you feel about them. Sometimes we forget to tell our most cherished friends why we love them. A considered gift that speaks to their interests means you have taken the time to think about what they may like. Someone who loves cooking or gardening will probably still LOVE another new kitchen tool or an inspirational garden book.

Father Rabbit’s linen pillowcase with polar bear print.

I’m currently gifting everyone… Our linen pillowcases! Also a bit weird, but I give the life-changing bucket grater.

The most cherished item I own is… My engagement ring from Meadowlark.

My favourite pick-me-up is… A facial at Haven Spa on Mt Eden Road. I’ve suffered from Rosacea this year and they have helped turn my skin around. It’s not perfect but it’s a damn sight better.

The best book I’ve read recently is… This Is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay.

My current podcast recommendation… Hmm I really haven’t got into podcasts. I’m not very good at concentrating my attention on them. But I will recommend “I May Destroy You” on Neon! I’m a TV girl.

My favourite place to dine… Too many! I adore Lillian and Paris Butter. Across the water, I live for Oyster Inn and Man O’ War in Summer.

Image via @lilian.akl

The biggest lesson I’ve learnt recently… It was quite a huge lesson. A few years ago I learned that I should be constantly checking the balance sheet, not just the profit and loss. I had been coding something incorrectly so our profit was inflated. It was a big kick in the guts. That was an awesome lesson… my God.

This spring you’ll find me… On Rakino Island – hopefully planting more trees on our little patch of land over there. Although we might be too late by then. By that time it’s sometimes warm enough for a swim too! Then roll on summer.

If I could have dinner with any three people, dead or alive, it would be  Michael Jordan and John Campbell and Kim Kardashian (I’m a sucker for a celebrity!)

I find inspiration by… Looking back at some of the things my grandparents did in their home and garden.

To relax I like by… If I’m blobbing – defo TV – if I’m on holiday at home (commonly called lockdown) it’s sorting out cupboards and kids toys!

The new Deadly Ponies Collection We’re Currently Obsessed With

If some new arm candy is top of the spring wish list, the first drop of Deadly Ponies’ Spring/Summer 2020 collection has just landed answering all of your handbag-related prayers.

“We took inspiration from the iconic medieval Hunt of the Unicorn tapestries for SS20; looking at deep rich burgundy shades, earthy tones, and chainmail adornments as a starting point. From there, we wanted to create something that was a little more electric and vibrant as the seasonal collection progresses,” says creative director, Liam Bowden.

While Deadly Ponies has traditionally showcased for seasonal collections each year, the arrival of the Spring/Summer 2020 collections marks a departure from the usual model. After reflecting on the future of fashion, Bowden and his team have made the decision to present two collections each year – the new Spring/Summer collection marks the start of this new chapter for the brand.

Within the two seasons that are launched each year, there will be smaller product drops in three parts reflecting demand for newness while producing smaller, limited runs to reduce excess.

Part I, which has just launched and is available online and in-store now, features a colour palette of rich bordeaux and crisp birch hero hues, with a touch of texture explored through the brand’s first hi-gloss croc.

Spring Summer ‘20 sees an abundance of new shapes, and updated additions – such as the solid brass chain detailing as a feature point. Mr Minimese, Mr Mini Panther, Mr Micro Chainmail and Mr Micro Gator Gang stand out in new arrivals in reimagined sizes, and see the return of Mr Panther, Mr Sling and refreshed Mr Cub Chain from winter.