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Honorary degree for iconic NZ fashion designer


Honorary degree for iconic NZ fashion designer

The creative director of the iconic Dunedin fashion label NOM*d, Margarita Robertson, will be awarded an honorary Bachelor of Design (Fashion) from Otago Polytechnic at the institute’s graduation ceremony this week, in recognition of her exceptional contribution to the New Zealand fashion industry.

“The names NOM*d and Margarita Robertson are synonymous with Dunedin fashion,” says Otago Polytechnic’s Academic Leader – Fashion, Dr Margo Barton. “Margi has been instrumental in the continued growth of Dunedin’s vibrant fashion sector since 1986, when she and her husband, Chris, boldly launched NOM*d, despite an economic slump in the Dunedin fashion industry.”

From these early beginnings, NOM*d quickly established itself as one of the country’s premier fashion labels. In 1999, NOM*d was chosen to represent New Zealand at London Fashion Week, alongside Karen Walker, World and Zambesi. These were the first New Zealand labels to show at an international fashion week, although at this time NOM*d was already retailing in London at the internationally-renowned Liberty’s.

Margarita and her team have gone on to show consistently at international fashion weeks, including Paris, London, New York and Sydney, as well as being a regular feature at New Zealand Fashion Week. NOM*d also shows annually at the iD Dunedin Fashion Show, and Margarita is a regular selector and juror at the iD International Emerging Designer Awards.

The Museum of New Zealand, Te Papa Tongarewa, and Australia’s National Gallery of Victoria both hold key pieces from NOM*d as part of their permanent fashion and textiles collections.

Margarita’s mentoring and support of budding fashion designers has also been notable.

“Margi has personally been visible, accessible and supportive to Otago Polytechnic students and staff,” says Dr Barton. “From the earliest days of fashion programmes at Otago Polytechnic, she has given generously of her time to mentor, judge, and examine students.”

“It is an honour to be awarded this degree, and I am somewhat humbled by the accolade,” says Margarita. “We have always been a big part of the Dunedin fashion scene, and NOM*d is a proud supporter of local fashion and the development of emerging fashion designers. It’s great to be able to give back too, especially when so much of New Zealand fashion design happens outside of Dunedin,” she says .

Margarita Robertson will be awarded her honorary Bachelor of Design (Fashion) at Otago Polytechnic’s graduation ceremony, to be held at Dunedin’s Regent Theatre at 3.00pm on Friday 7 December.


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