With six great events under our belt – we’re keen to keep making The Big Shwop bigger and better every time. We thought it would be nice to have someone special to officially open The Big Shwop Auckland 2010 for us – so we’re very proud to announce that top NZ designer Annah Stretton will be that special person!

Annah Stretton is a hugely successful entrepreneur and a positive role model for NZ women in business. Based in the Waikato, her brand now has a chain of 30 fashion retail stores throughout NZ, export accounts to the UK, Ireland & Austraia and includes a publishing arm that delivers three magazines including the popular ‘Her Magazine‘. She also currently employs up to 120 women! Her eventful life is described in her second book Wise Heart: “From art student to accountant; entrepreneur to serial philanthropist and now industry leader; Annah Stretton’s story is one of passion, colour, generosity and extreme business success.”

Annah on the catwalk with her Spring / Summer 2010 collection entitled 'Stop the slaughter'

She also has some impressive awards to boot; In 2008 she was awarded the honour of becoming a Member of New Zealand order of Merit for Services to Fashion, Business and the Community. Following on from that, Annah became the 2009 New Zealand recipient of the Veuve Clicquot Award. This global tribute acknowledges female achievers in business and industry who exemplify the qualities of Madame Clicquot, the woman behind the successful champagne house Veuve Clicquot.

Annah Stretton at NZ Fashion Week with her urban cowgirl inspired winter 2011 collection: 'Calamity - A Life Less Ordinary'

Annah is very interested in sustainable fashion and the environmental issues surrounding the industry, which is why we are so pleased she will also be one of the featured speakers at the event. Catch her at about 12.45 in the pre-function area of The Great Room (and oh my goodness it is sooo great!) at The Langham.

Watch this space in the next few weeks to see what else is in store for the next Big Shwop event in Auckland!

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