NZ INDIGENOUS FASHION ATTRACTS AUSTRALIAN INTEREST
With entries for the 2013 Miromoda Fashion Design Awards competition due to close on May 31, organisers have been approached to advise and assist with the planning of the inaugural Australian Fashion Week in April 2014. As a result, Miromoda has extended an invitation to their Australian counterparts to attend both the Fashion Design Awards Competition in Wellington as well as the Miromoda Showcase at NZ Fashion Week (NZFW) in Auckland. “The big picture is an indigenous New Zealand/Australian fashion relationship ticks off a good chunk of the Pacific region, so this is an exciting commercial step for us,” says Miromoda co founder Ata Te Kanawa.
The Miromoda (Indigenous Maori Fashion Apparel Board) entity which formed in 2008 and debuted at NZ Fashion Week, with its eight competition winners and runners up across four categories in 2009, will head to NZ Fashion Week in early September for the fifth year. “Soon after last years Miromoda showcase, NZFW contacted us to say we will be billed as a Big Ticket Show in 2013 so the interest from Australia was probably just a matter of time.”
Te Kanawa says that adding countries like Fiji, Samoa and Rarotonga to the mix “is hardly world domination but a step that will inch closer to South East Asia, take in Hawaii and make a decent sized indigenous fashion statement in the Southern Hemisphere.” She also shares that she recognised the tone of the organisers of the inaugural Australian Indigenous Fashion Week during their first phone call. “They sounded like I did in the beginning, tentative, nervous and unsure, so no surprises they are interested in our model which we are happy to share and one that is supported by NZ Fashion Week founder, Dame Pieter Stewart.
As an avid Miromoda supporter and competition head judge, Dame Stewart was motivated in 2008 to show international fashion media and buyers something they would not see at any other international Fashion Week. Te Kanawa says it’s likely Dame Stewart has initiated a new indigenous awareness and genre in fashion. Clearly, one that has not gone unnoticed across the Tasman and possibly beyond.
Former high fashion retailer, buyer and manufacturer across Europe for 20 years, and fellow Miromoda competition judge, Anthony Mosinkhof, says he is personally recommending Miromoda to his networks in the Netherlands and Germany in particular.
On the local scene, Te Kanawa says indigenous wine label Tohu have pledged support to be aligned with Miromoda. “Fashion will always have a powerful media presence, so entertaining Miromoda’s allegiances with indigenous wine, food, art and music is a no brainer.”
Image: A Pia Boutique collection debuted at 2012 NZ Fashion Week as part of the Miromoda Showcase.
Designer Pia Naera recently added a retail store in Parnell to her 12-month online store.