In 1977 Glen Wilkin-Holland began working at Purfex. Over the next decade he tried his hand at most aspects of the factory, an experience that he values as having provided him with “a really good grounding in how to make mannequins from scratch”. Working his way up from the sanding benches to factory manager, Glen had the opportunity to purchase the company in 1998. Along with his business and life partner Fraser Moreton, Glen embraced the opportunity to continue the legacy of producing high quality locally made display mannequins for the New Zealand market.
The company has braved competition from cheap Chinese imports and found its own niche in New Zealand’s increasingly idiosyncratic fashion market. The legacy continues in the offering of mannequin restoration and conversion. A Purfex makeover might involve replacing the old head with a wooden cap or ‘retro’ head. A recent commission from the Canterbury Museum provided Glen and his staff the opportunity to work with some rare historical models that had been damaged in the 2011 earthquake.