Miss Deb Production date
1970 Current rights
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Ruth Espin was born in Waihi and for much of her childhood was raised in Huntly. In 1968 she took a home science position at Otumoetai Intermediate, Tauranga. That year she met her husband Doug Espin and they began their farming life together in the Western Bay of Plenty. Clothing was always important to Ruth. She loved this dress. It reminded her of important moments in her life and how good she felt wearing it. "This green dress, a Miss Deb, was fun. It was easy to slip into, and being crimpolene, easy to launder. It was suitable for any occasion. Having a new baby meant I didn't go out at night, but wore it for almost everything else over that summer of 1971. My baby girl Elizabeth loved it too, as she could suck the ornamental ends on the tie at the neck. I just hope she didn't swallow too much of the silver coating!"
Maurice Mihotich founded Miss Deb in 1963 in response to the successes of Mary Quant in England and Seventeen in America. His label was directed to young women who wanted to dress in a style clearly different from that of their mothers. Miss Deb used quality design and fabrics and sold in major New Zealand Department stores such as Smith & Caughey in Auckland and Kirkaldie & Stains in Wellington. In the 1970s a trendy, younger market was identified by Mihotich. In a move to keep ahead of the competition, Cinnamon was launched as Miss Deb sought more sophisticated clients.