Originally from Tauranga, Shona Tawhiao has showed her designs in Paris, London and Melbourne and her garments walked the runway during New Zealand, Melbourne and London Fashion Weeks. This year her collection Battle Cry will return to New Zealand Fashion Week.

“Showing at home is always great for my work. Sharing with fellow friends designers and artists is just as exciting as showing anywhere in the world,” said Tawhiao. Tawhiao creates contemporary mahi raranga flax weaving. Her uniquely designed garments combine modern materials and native flax, Harakeke, made with matching accessories, such as hats and shoes. Unlike most other designers, Tawhiao mixes traditional Māori weaving skills with her eye for contemporary design and this has helped her build both a local and international profile.

“Combining the two artforms is my way of carrying on traditions of Māori art and bringing it into the future. Combining both helps it cross over into different worlds,” said Tawhiao.

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