Trelise Cooper

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Dame Trelise Cooper
Trelise Cooper 2013.jpg
Trelise Cooper 2013
Born New Zealand
Occupation Fashion designer
Trelise Cooper store in Auckland, New Zealand

Dame Trelise Pamela Cooper DNZM is a fashion designer from New Zealand.[1] Her designs have featured in magazines such as Vogue, Marie Claire, Women's Wear Daily,[2] InStyle and the television series Sex and the City.[3]

Early life[edit]

Cooper was born to Joe and Pam Neill, and grew up in Henderson, West Auckland.[4] She attended Henderson High School, and volunteered at Lifeline crisis support service as a teenager.[5] She left school at the age of 15 and was married at 17. She and her husband ran a building business together, but the marriage ended in divorce when Cooper was 21.[6]


Cooper's design business began in the early 1980s, with her first boutique opening in 1985.[4] She then took a break from business to have a baby, and returned in late 1996.[6]

Cooper creates five clothing ranges - Trelise Cooper, Cooper by Trelise, COOP, Board Room and Trelise Cooper Kids, all of which she shows at New Zealand Fashion Week.[7] Customers include Liv Tyler, Miley Cyrus,[8] Lindsay Lohan, Stevie Nicks, Suri Cruise,[9] Julia Roberts,[10] and The Pussycat Dolls. She also produces Trelise Cooper Interiors, a fabric range made in association with textiles house Charles Parsons.

Cooper's signature fragrance 'Trelise' was launched in late 2009. It was designed by perfumer Yves Dombrowsky and has been described as an uplifting, positive scent.[11]

In March 2009, she became the first New Zealand designer to stage a fashion show on board the Queen Mary 2 cruise ship.[12]

Cooper is a patron of the Breast Cancer Research Trust, an advocate for domestic violence awareness and supports Habitat for Humanity. At 2009's New Zealand Fashion Week Cooper initiated an onsite house build to promote this charity.[13] She is also an environmental supporter, producing eco bags for supermarket chain Progressive Enterprises.[14] She is involved with the UN-sponsored organisation MARITAGE International, which connects young women in developed and developing countries, and also mentors young people in New Zealand.[6]

In December 2005, Cooper was involved in an intellectual property dispute with fellow New Zealand fashion designer Tamsin Cooper, objecting to Tamsin registering her name as a trademark. In July 2007, Cooper agreed to drop the suit and let Tamsin Cooper operate under her own name.[15]

As of 2016, Cooper has 10 boutiques around the world, and her ranges are stocked in more than 200 stores in Australasia, Asia, Europe, America and the Middle East.[6]


The Trelise Cooper Kids Auckland flagship store won the supreme award at the 2007 New Zealand Retail Interior Design Awards.[16]

In 2004, Cooper was named a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit. In 2014, she was elevated to Dame Companion in the same Order.[17]


  1. ^ Official Trelise Cooper website; accessed 1 September 2014.
  2. ^ "Publications". 11 August 2004. Retrieved 15 September 2013. 
  3. ^ "Fashionable Auckland". Retrieved 15 September 2013. 
  4. ^ a b Edge, Kristin (2014-01-01). "Dame Trelise Cooper just a normal Kiwi at heart". New Zealand Herald. ISSN 1170-0777. Retrieved 2016-05-19. 
  5. ^ "Exclusive interview: Trelise Cooper". TVNZ Ondemand. Retrieved 2016-05-19. 
  6. ^ a b c d "Trelise Cooper". Magazines Today. 2016-01-09. Retrieved 2016-05-19. 
  7. ^ Magazine, Viva. "Dame Trelise Cooper's prestigious new accolade - Viva". Retrieved 2016-05-19. 
  8. ^ "Hannah Montana star chooses NZ designer's creation for Idol appearance". NZ Herald. 30 April 2008. Retrieved 15 September 2013. 
  9. ^ "Suri Cruise spotted wearing Trelise Cooper Kids". NZ Herald. 1 October 2009. Retrieved 15 September 2013. 
  10. ^ "Fashion Week". TVNZ. Retrieved 15 September 2013. 
  11. ^ Williams, Bronwyn (2011-07-20). "Secrets of a perfume wizard". Retrieved 2016-05-22. 
  12. ^ "Queen Mary 2 arrives in Auckland". NZ Herald. 4 March 2010. Retrieved 15 September 2013. 
  13. ^ Page, Emma (5 July 2009). "How to fashion a house". Retrieved 15 September 2013. 
  14. ^ "Countdown - Trelise Cooper Eco Bag 09". Progressive Enterprises. Retrieved 15 September 2013. 
  15. ^ "Cooper and Cooper reach agreement over trade marks". Scoop (website). 3 July 2007. Retrieved 15 September 2013. 
  16. ^ "Saatchi & Saatchi: Top Retail Award for Saatchi & Saatchi Design NZ". DesignTAXI. 4 October 2007. Retrieved 15 September 2013. 
  17. ^ "New Zealand Honours Lists". DPMC. Retrieved 15 September 2013. 

External links[edit]