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Miromoda Fashion Competition Reaches New Heights

Miromoda Fashion Competition Reaches New Heights

Saturday saw a new city and a new venue for the increasingly popular annual Miromoda Fashion Design competition. Held at Hamilton’s Novotel Tainui, twenty short listed entrants faced a panel of judges to vie for places in the Miromoda Showcase, which will be held as part of New Zealand Fashion Week (NZFW) in late August.

Respected Fashion designer Adrian Hailwood and PR guru Miranda Likeman, founder of Panic PR, joined Miromoda’s head judge Dame Pieter Stewart DNZM on the judging panel for the Project Runway style competition.

Miromoda (Indigenous Maori Fashion Apparel Board) formed in 2008 and debuted at NZFW the following year with eight competition winners and runners up across four categories. The competition is well established in the tertiary community and draws entries from most, if not all, New Zealand fashion schools, as well as internationally based Maori fashion designers.

Co-founder Ata Te Kanawa credits the support of NZFW founder Dame Pieter Stewart and sponsorship support from a handful of loyal supporters as “the catalyst for creating and maintaining the Miromoda platform which is the least that can be done to tap into the huge talent pool out there.”

She says the competition reached several milestones this year, including “our first ever second- generation entrant who has won a spot at NZFW and will show alongside her mother and two aunts.” Seventeen year-old Auckland based Aaliyah Jobe was an entrant in the Emerging category, and is the daughter of Kristin Leitch, one of the three sisters behind the Dmonic Intent label who won a spot in the Avant-Garde category.

Winner of Miromoda’s emerging section and 2015 overall supreme winner, 25 year-old Steve Hall, is a Massey University graduate from Te Puke. In April, he also earned the title of overall winner of the prestigious and internationally recognised iD International Emerging Designer Awards. As one of only six New Zealand designers entered in the Dunedin competition that is always dominated by international entries, Hall is having an exceptional year and clearly a name to watch for.

While he may have been a clear winner, Dame Pieter Stewart said the high level of talent in the Emerging section made selection extremely difficult, forcing the creation of a sportswear section and angst for judges and entrants. “Once again, the competition was most impressive and gave me a lift to see such fantastic talent coming through,” says Stewart.

The other challenge Stewart faced was the realisation to consider moving Miromoda’s usual Friday spot at NZ Fashion Week forward to Thursday. “There is so much commercial potential for Miromoda designers, they deserve to be in front of more buyers.”

Tickets for the NZFW Miromoda Showcase on iTICKET went on sale two weeks ago and have so far sold more than any other show. There is a very limited number available as the show is mainly for delegates attending NZFW and designer guests.

Although Dame Stewart has acknowledged she will move away from the everyday operation of New Zealand’s premiere fashion event, NZ Fashion Week that she founded in 2001, she is in no way retiring or resigning from it, and especially Miromoda. “If you asked me what the most satisfying thing I have done since beginning NZFW - it would have to be Miromoda,” says Stewart.


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