Te Wero (the challenge) is a fashion runway event that brings together a collaboration of emerging and established Māori designers all in one event. It will highlight the impeccable talent and skills among Māori designers.
The red-carpet fashion event was scheduled to be held in April but postponed due to lockdown. Now, it will go ahead in August in Rotorua as restrictions for events have been relaxed by the government.
“Māori fashion design is fast becoming a major contender on the global stage. It’s a field that goes against the grain of traditional European thinking when it comes to fashion, putting masterfully created and contemporary and unique design in the spotlight,” said organisers Peter Duncan and Taongahuia Maxwell.
Te Wero presents the beauty of craftsmanship and generational design techniques, paired with contemporary and unique design innovation.
Lead designer Taongahuia Maxwell owns Iti Gifts online and shares a retail store in Rotorua. Although new to the fashion industry, she completed a Bachelor of Māori Art in 2017 and established her label Kahu Huia (Huia Clothing) in 2019.
Other participating designers include the renowned Jeanine Clarkin, who has been leading the field in Māori fashion since 1994, popular jewellery and fashion designer Nichola Te Kiri, emerging designers Paulette Teatai-Ariki and local favourite Wairata Warbrick.
The 2019 Miromoda Avante Garde section winner Chermene Castle and jewellery designer Brady Walker will also join the team, with Walker providing his unique stainless steel pieces to adorn their garments.