By Emily Norman
A women’s clothing store which was once graced by movie star Kate Winslet will be closing up shop next Wednesday.
Pagani in Masterton was one of the last remaining niche fashion outlets for fashion-forward women in Wairarapa.
The Queen St store made headlines in 2013 when British actress Kate Winslet was spotted shopping there, spending more than $300 on a couple of dresses, two short-sleeved blazers, some jewellery and a pair of sunglasses.
The looming closure of Pagani, which prides itself on its “distinctively fun and flirty fashion”, will add to the list of niche clothing stores which have vanished from Masterton’s CBD over the past year, giving customers little choice but to travel elsewhere or shop online for trendy clothes.
Others include Verily, Legal Theft and Saunders shoes, which relocated to Greytown.
Masterton Mayor Lyn Patterson said it was “regrettable” when any retail outlet closed in Masterton.
“It is sad when we see another retail outlet go, but there’ll be another one that will come along,” she said.
“At the end of the day this is a commercial decision that Pagani have made for whatever reason.
“Council is working hard to bring new people into our town and we’re encouraging all demographics to live here.”
A spokesperson from Masterton District Council said retail GDP growth in Masterton was 4.4 per cent in 2015.
Vera Aperloo, the former owner of Verily, another clothing store in the area, had previously expressed her frustrations to the Times-Age about a lack of trade which had forced her shop to close in February.
Even as the owner of the business, she had to work part-time as a nanny to make ends meet.
“I’m closing because I’ve sat here pretty much as a volunteer for the past two years, I haven’t earnt a cent,” she had said in February.
Pagani’s regional manager and head office would not comment on the closure.