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Māori and Pacific Fashion Designers coming to Hong Kong

In a first for New Zealand, six Māori and Pacific fashion designers and artists are travelling as a group to Hong Kong Fashion Week to showcase their collections and meet with buyers and investors. The group includes some of New Zealand’s best established and emerging Māori and Pacific creative talent, including Kiri Nathan, Shona Tawhiao, Lindah Lepou, Nichola Te Kiri, Bobby Campbell-Luke and Mitchell Vincent.

The trip is funded by the North Asia Centre for Asia Pacific Excellence (North Asia CAPE) as part of their work in developing commercial opportunities and export capability for Māori and Pacific enterprise in creative industries. The North Asia CAPE is hosted by the University of Auckland. Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Strategic Engagement, Professor Jenny Dixon is pleased the CAPE is taking leadership in developing export pathways for Māori and Pacific creative talent and “understands the importance of diversity of representation to the Aotearoa brand in the export market.”

Film maker Benji Timu of No Six will accompany the designers to document the journey. Benji is “excited to tell the story of local creatives showcasing their talents in a global market”. North Asia CAPE programme delivery partner, Oyster Workshop, has been working with the group in the lead-up to Hong Kong Fashion week. A team from Oyster will be traveling to Hong Kong to support all aspects of the programme and ensure market pathway opportunities are secured. Tania Rupupera, Oyster Workshop’s Chief Coach, is working closely with the designers in preparing for their showcase and is excited to see the opportunities created in Hong Kong. Tania says the project aligns perfectly with the Oyster Workshop kaupapa as a “safe hands approach to growing our creative economy will have huge benefit to our designers and artist’s sustainability into the future.”

The designers start their trip to Hong Kong with the Lumiere Fashion Show on 6 July, with a full schedule of buyer and investor engagements as well as exploring e-commerce platforms and distribution and supply chain logistics. David Whitwam, Chair of the New Zealand Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong, is providing on the ground support for the group to enable them to maximise commercial opportunities during their visit.

North Asia CAPE Director, Professor Paul Clark, says creative industries “are where New Zealanders can build high-value products that appeal to the world. We are pleased to add this dimension to the work the North Asia CAPE is doing with expanding Māori and Pasifika opportunities in Asia”.

The designers/artists are and ready for the opportunity and look forward to getting down to business in Hong Kong.

The group departs New Zealand on 4 July.


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