Colin Gibbs Collection


A nostalgic fashion trip back through time


Hazelwoods was Upper Hutt’s premier department store. If you wanted access to the local trends in fashion, beauty and homewares, Hazelwoods was where you went.

Hazelwoods was in operation, through various iterations, for over a hundred years and only ceased trading in 2009. It was originally owned by J.A. Hazelwood, who opened the first Hazelwood store in 1893. In 1944 it was sold to T.N. Gibbs, who, over the years, added a travel department, coffee lounge, and sports department. Operation of the store was eventually taken over by Colin Gibbs, T.N Gibb’s son, and the donor of this collection.

Holding a fond place in many Upper Huttians' memories, Hazelwoods was where you went to meet Santa, purchase birthday presents and attend fashion parades. They also employed many local people. The strength of the Colin Gibbs Collection is the large amount of photographs capturing the different promotional activities of the store, and consequently the photographs have a strong emphasis on fashion, showcasing the trends of the 1960s and 70s. Beehives, winged eyeliner, flares and the (in)famous mini skirt all featured prominently in the photographs in this collection.


Unidentified fashion models, ca.1965


Hazelwoods fashion display, 1971


Hazelwoods cosmetics promotion girls, 1968

Discover more photographs from the Colin Gibbs Collection here.