More than 100 top models are expected to descend on Auckland’s Grand Millennium Hotel as New Zealand Fashion Week opens its 2019 model casting. Designer labels such as Zambesi, Maggie Marilyn, Kate Sylvester, and Paris Georgia are expected to be watching as the hopeful models strut their stuff.

The 2019 New Zealand Fashion Week has been relaunched with a renewed focus on diversity and inclusion, with promises to include a range of racially diverse models, as well as plus-sized and transgender models.

“The countdown to New Zealand Fashion Week is well and truly on and the annual model casting brings a whole new level of vibrancy and energy to the event,” said Dame Pieter Stewart, founder and managing director of New Zealand Fashion Week. “Crucially, we’re focused on ensuring the runways will be representative of all New Zealanders—and are putting particular emphasis on casting the most diverse range of models possible that reflects our modern country.”

“New Zealand Fashion Week is a highlight for the national modelling industry,” said Ursula Dixon, scout and booker for Unique Models. “This year we’ve seen a definite welcome trend for diversity and casting the models based on personality, who they are as an individual and what they can bring to the runway, rather than just as a clothes hanger. We are excited to see what fresh new faces are snapped up for the 2019 event.”