Thistle Brown

Caker Crush

I’ve know Thistle Brown for many years; we’ve always been in the same circles both in Auckland and to an extent New York too. He popped back to NZ for a while to have a break from covid-ridden NYC, at the same time that I was doing the exact same thing but from LA, and so of course we lined up a Caker Crush photoshoot! Enthused by the abundance of fragrant summer strawberries, Thistle chose to bake my Lemon Strawberry Poppy Seed cake kit and looks just so damn stylish while doing so. Veronica Crockford-Pound and Joseph Griffen captured the beauty of the cake, and its baker, like they always do.




  • Can you write a short paragraph about yourself - you can talk about anything at all.

    Hi my names Thistle, I grew up in Te Tai Tokerau and have lived in NYC for the last 7 years.

  • What makes you feel powerful?


  • What music/podcast are you listening to at the moment?

    The meaning of Mariah Carey

  • Tell us about your day to day life in New York?

    I work freelance, so my weeks vary depending on what type of projects I am working on. Usually when I am home in the LES, I will always start my day with a coffee in bed, read the news and then get up to run any errands for the day. As a freelancer, I still try to stick to a 9-5pm schedule when I can. I give myself the evening to eat out at great restaurants and hang with the people I love in NYC. I really like biking around Manhattan instead of using the subway.

  • What does food mean in your family? Are there any classic dishes?

    Food in my family was always very classic no frills. I loved my mums Lasagne the most.

  • In your opinion, what is important in the foundation of a perfect outfit?

    I think for me having a good consistent rotation of solid jewelry pieces - they can anchor any look and all the while keeping it personal. At the moment I am religiously wearing this silver bracelet I got from Turkey, its pretty perfect.

  • What was your birthday cake of choice as a kid?

    I remember my 5th birthday cake was of Bart Simpson that my mum made. Another one was a four turret castle made out of candy and cream - quite a moment tbh.

  • If you could go back and capture a memory from your life in HD, to rewatch whenever you wanted, which would it be?

    I think I would prefer to go back before I was born and rewatch my family immigrating here in the 70’s. They moved here 10 of them and from all the photos it seemed like a really poignant and special time for everyone.

  • What star sign are you and which traits from it resonate with you?

    Gemini. I guess drop me anywhere and I won’t sink.

  • What makes you proud of your generation?

    I'd have to answer that once we see what is actually achieved.

  • We know how busy you are, so down time must be special - how do you spend a day off?

    I like going for a bike ride with a speaker on the front, getting a takeaway margarita and sitting in Washington square park with some friends.

  • What is your favourite fruit?

    Black cherries

  • If you could have complete access to any designers archives, who would it be?


  • If you could work with any photographer who would it be?

    Lise Safarti

  • In terms of fashion, what movie in your opinion just got it right?

    The Last Seduction

  • Dinner in a bubble under the sea, or breakfast on a cloud?

    Clouds for sure

  • When you're back in Auckland, what things are at the top of your list to do?

    Beach, House Parties & visit Alison + Katie at Search & Destroy.

  • If you could fly off on vacation tomorrow, where would you go?


  • If you had an empty white room, and one bucket of paint, which colour would splash all over the walls?

    I’d probably keep it white tbh.

  • You can really put together an outfit unlike anyone else, but I was wondering - was there a time in history, or any specific people (etc) that had a profound impact on your sense of style?

    I think I’ve always been into old clothes, things that hold memory. My family only thrifted growing up. I’m not sure if I have ever consciously been impacted by a particular persons style but I definitely think I admire peoples attitude towards clothing, especially when it feels at ease and personal to them.

  • If you could spend a day picking the brain of one photographer, living or otherwise, who would you choose?

    I think Wolfgang Tillmans would be nice to talk too.

  • Tell us about a dream you had recently…

    I was coming home in a taxi with all the windows down, driving over water in the dark.

  • Where would you take someone spending the day in New York?

    Mogador for Breakfast, bike ride around the city, Raouls for dinner.

  • Your family are in Whangārei, which is a beautiful city north of Auckland - what was it like for you growing up there, and how do you like to spend your time when you return home?

    Growing up in the north definitely taught me a thing or two about being streetwise, but now looking back it really gave me the drive to discover something more beyond the hills. I appreciate it on a whole other level now, I love it up there. When I go back my favorite thing to do is to just hang out with my cousins, eat seafood and be at the beach.

  • What is your favorite season?

    Summer, always