Editor’s Pick: Alani McKenna

Hailing from Hawkes Bay, Alani McKenna has created her own textile business to contribute to the New Zealand fashion industry in a new and creative way. Her company, Alani McKenna Textiles, presents bespoke textiles which can be used by designers or individuals looking for soft and personalised presentations. “I had my first experience working in fashion and textiles for Rowan McLennan Design in Napier,” shared the entrepreneur. It was here that she grew a love and appreciation for the field of textile design, and found her career moving from being garment to fabric focused. “I always thought I would end up doing fashion, but I love the combination of designing and making the fabric as well as the garment.” Having found her passion in the textile industry, McKenna went on to complete an honours degree in Textile Design at Massey University in 2014 and has continued to develop her skills since her graduation.

Through her company, McKenna has created a selection of wedding pieces including floral prints, custom embroidery and personalised banners. “I start with the illustration and graphic design, then print and sew the garment or product,” explained McKenna. “I love to have the creative direction of the entire process from start to finish.” Her skills as a designer include screen printing, dying, fabric manipulation and digital design, which have all contributed to her creations at different times. Natural forms, textures and materials most inspire McKenna, and her latest project has been a series of floral screen prints, which include magnolia, chrysanthemum and protea multi-layered coloured prints. When creating her collections, McKenna is always sure to keep in mind the use of each design and its purpose beyond its construction. “The physical use of the end product needs to inform the design, and vice versa, they should develop in tandem.”

McKenna currently sells her designs online, and in a selection of markets, however, she is eager to expand her services to help her meet new clients. "I would like to set up my own studio space where I can consult and create."

For more information visit www.alanimckenna.com.