Celebrated local fashion designer Kharl Wirepa has the Rotorua community behind him - now he wants to help others in the local fashion industry.
Mr Wirepa is one of the designers showcasing New Zealand talent at the Gloss Fashion Fundraiser being held at the Rotorua Lakes Council Galleria this Saturday
The fundraiser is being held to raise Rotorua's fashion profile, while supporting 10 girls who have been modelling for Mr Wirepa's Gloss Quality model agency by giving them an opportunity to walk at New Zealand Fashion Week shows.
Mr Wirepa will show at the prestigious New Zealand Fashion Week for the third time in Auckland at the end of August.
Mr Wirepa told the Rotorua Daily Post the money raised at this weekend's show will go towards the costs of accommodation, food and travel, and for the models to meet with agents in Auckland.
He specialises in glamour dressing, mostly in the beauty pageant industry, and one-of-a-kind pieces for "women to feel the most fabulous about themselves."
All of the 22 models walking in the fundraiser are local, ranging from high school students to solo mothers, as well a lawyer.
Mr Wirepa is excited about the evening.
"We are wanting to support new talent and this an opportunity for them to start their relationship with the Rotorua fashion industry."
Other local designers involved include Mereana Ngatai, Hard Out Kiwi and jewellery by Narida Johnstone. Students from Waiariki Bay of Plenty Polytechnic will style the models' hair and make-up.
Council Creative Portfolio support councillor Karen Hunt said the designers were influential in New Zealand fashion.
"These talented designers have burst onto the local art scene and are driving what's hot in New Zealand, from right here in Rotorua."
Two hundred tickets have been sold so far, with about 100 left. Tickets can be bought from Salon St Bruno or Iti Gifts on Hinemoa St.
Jess Tyson, runner-up at the international Miss World New Zealand 2016, will be a guest of the event.
Mr Wirepa encouraged people to attend.
"Supporting the event is not just supporting the models but it is supporting an economy, a super industry of fashion...it is important people come and support this event because we want Rotorua to be the most fabulous place on the whole planet."
The show gets underway at 6.30pm.
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