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Margi Robertson’s Dunedin

20 May 2022
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Otago institutions since their inception in 1978 and 1986 respectively, the beautifully leadlight-entranced boutique Plume and clothing label NOM*D are synonymous with Dunedin fashion, so it makes sense that designer and co-founder of both, Margarita Robertson, would be the perfect go-to for this month’s Style travel guide to the southern city. Interview Josie Steenhart

How long have you lived in Dunedin – and why did you choose to settle there?

I was born in Clyde, my family were settled there as refugees, arriving from Greece in 1951. We moved to Dunedin when I was two and I never left!

How is running a business – or two in your case – from Dunedin?

It has been both challenging and rewarding. Being in a small city means that your clients and peers become quite personal, but the challenges are being recognised as a game player by our compatriots further north, and coping with freight, both incoming and outgoing. All in all the rewards win and it’s great to have the face-to-face loyalty of our customers.

What are a couple of new-season NOM*D pieces that are essentials for visiting Dunedin this winter?

The Swing Sweater has struck a chord this season, it has a cosy high neckline and just enough swing in its
A-line shape to wear with skirts or pants. We’ve also just worked with a specialised factory to make a completely waterproof anorak, which comes with a waterproof down tech liner that can be removed and worn separately!

What do you currently love most about the city and surrounds?

I love that nobody is very far from the city or the amazing nature of the coast, the peninsula or the beaches – it’s all so accessible and there’s so much room for everyone!

Favourite local spots to visit?

You can hang out at St Clair and watch the surfers and the waves. I love seeing the subcultures enjoying
life. And get an amazing small-batch ice cream from the caravan, so many flavours to choose from!

Favourite local spots to eat/drink?

Moiety would be my favourite restaurant, it’s degustation at its finest, small and intimate. The best cafe in
town is Side-on, who have the yummiest bread and pastries… oh, and the best scrambled eggs in town, especially with the chilli oil add-on!

Favourite local activities/experiences?

The Saturday morning farmers’ market is a great experience, nice to support the local growers and farmers direct and enjoy a coffee or meet up with friends at the same time.

Best place to stay?

Ebb is the newest hotel to open in Dunedin and the rooms are divine. It’s small and has an art component, an atrium and plenty of room to park.

Any other “secret” local spots/intel you’re prepared to share?

Take a wander around Chingford Park, it’s a little hidden, on North Road in North East Valley. Once you’re there it has the most incredible trees, a gorgeous babbling brook for the children to play in, amazing old stables, or you can play frisbee golf. Climb up the track and enjoy the native flora!

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