Interview and photograph by Florence Noble.
With an eclectic dress sense and a history to match, Cheryl Raymond is the perfect store manager for World Britomart.
Are you from Auckland?
I was originally born in Taupō. But all my adult years have been Auckland, and some time overseas.
Where did you go?
Well, I was en route to London, however never made it. Got to Sydney and played. This is in the ’80s. I was working for Sydney University record store. It was a great place to meet young people and I’d always loved music and fashion so it worked for me. When I came back to Auckland, I worked for another record store called Sounds.
How do you get to Britomart?
I bus. I f I’m running late I get an Uber. But generally I just get The Link.
What do you do here?
I manage the World store. I started with World nine years ago in the original High Street store and then when we relocated to Britomart, I managed the opening of the new store. In-between times, though, I opened up the Queenstown store.
How did you get into it?
I did a course at AUT in fashion pre my three children, and I always wanted to do my own label. World was a company I really loved. I was a customer of World so I applied as a staff member. I loved what World had, and what they were doing because they were a little bit different from everyone else. They didn’t follow fashion, they did their own. They’re a brave brand. And it enables the customers to have fun with fashion and not be too serious. That’s what I love about it.
Do you have any hobbies?
Seeing a live band with friends. Or even just seeing the ballet on my own so you can immerse yourself in it without having to think about the person alongside you. Going to the art gallery to soak up art, architecture and history. But I have always been into concerts and seeing bands live. Back in the days when I managed a Sounds store, you were always invited to launch parties, going to the record labels, you were part of the industry. It’s changed now. Really fashion and music are both theatrical. And I just always loved music. Back then, it was punk and New Wave. I collected LPs.
Do you still have a collection?
Yes. My collection is a wide range, not just one type of sound. And it depends what mood I’m in. Like fashion, it depends what mood you’re in to what you wear for the day. And same with fragrances too.
Who inspires you in fashion?
Vivienne Westwood and Alexander McQueen.
Whats your favourite thing to spend money on?
I love shoes. My wardrobe is all World, but I do love McQueen shoes, and boots and stilettos, and sandals… haha. When I look in a store, my eye goes to a shoe and it turns out each time they’re McQueens.
Have you got your eye on anything to buy at the moment?
I have! I have my eye on some white lace McQueen sneakers with the black swallow print. This next World collection is so limited. There are items in the collection that there are very few of, including an amazing white satin skirt.
Where’s your favourite place to eat around here?
I often meet my daughter and we’ll go down to Fukuko. They have a nice little range of tacos. And Seven is a beautiful space overlooking the harbour, they have lovely little sides and sharing plates.
What’s your favourite hidden Auckland City spot?
Well, I’m not telling everyone about my garden! I love gardening. It’s a lovely little private courtyard with gorgeous roses and camellias, and magnolias. That’s where I have a lovely Sunday with my wine and my platter.
What’s something not many people know about you?
There’s too many things to mention… I’m quite intuitive. Like, if I think of someone, in five minutes they can walk in. I don’t know if you should write that because it’s a little bit scary.
I don’t find it scary.
It happens to me quite a bit. When I was 18 I had a dream about a friend that she was pregnant, and I told her and she said, “Oh yeah, I just found out!” I believe that a lot of people lose their spiritual side, their ability to message to other people.
Yes. I think some people have more of that in them.