Jessica Grant has an eye for fashion.

The 17-year-old Napier Girls' High student has entered numerous fashion events and has been "lucky enough to get somewhere in everything I've entered".

However, she says getting placed or winning is a bonus.

"It's all about getting my creations on stage."


Her first foray into the world of fashion came as a 13-year-old.

Jessica was a competitive gymnast but injured her achilles heel. There were major complications involving surgery and a long road to recovery.

She was in a wheelchair and laid up at home, unable to attend school for an entire term.
To keep herself occupied, she decided to design an entry for the Edible Fashion Awards.

She walked the catwalk for the first time with a moon boot on.

That was the beginning of her love for fashion and creation.

"I enjoyed it so much I have kept on designing."

Last year Jessica's entry Pele, the goddess of fire and volcanoes was also successful with its harakeke weaved design.

However, the big win for Jessica was the Top Model Award.

Edible Fashion Awards event director Kelie Jensen said Jessica "was fierce on the catwalk".
Jessica says stepping on to the catwalk is amazing.

"It's a feeling of relief that everything has finally come together. It's great hearing the applause and I love seeing the photographs after."

Part of her prize was a model shoot which took place at Mangapapa Hotel.

Jessica loved the experience. "It was so much fun getting all made up. "Everyone involved was so nice. It was a really enjoyable day."

This year's entry is "a work in progress". For the first time it's a joint venture between Jessica and her mum, Justine.

"It's top secret at the moment," Jessica laughed.

She gets a lot of support from her family.

"They come to all my shows - that's really i mportant to me."

Although she loves fashion, Jessica doesn't see it as her career path.
"It will probably always be in my life but just as a hobby."

Kelie said last year's photo shoot was done in Auckland and it was awesome.

"But I'm a strong advocate for local pride and really wanted to bring the shoot home this year and surround it with local creatives, who are passionate about the Edible event.

"I love how the Edible Fashion Awards are such an iconic Hawke's Bay event and wanted to highlight and celebrate who and what we have here in Hawke's Bay - amazing stylists, independent clothing stores and stunning locations.

"I thought, 'We can do this here, celebrate our region and still make it a very special and genuine experience for the model'.

"Going forward, the vision is that we do a shoot like this locally each year featuring the Top Model winner styled in clothing from a local retailer and paired with a beautiful Hawke's Bay location."

*The deadline for online registration is this Sunday, May 20, but entrants have until preliminary judging on June 15 to complete their creations.

*To register an entry or purchase tickets to the awards show, visit or phone 0221085696.

*The 2018 Edible Fashion Awards theme is Peace, Love & Diversity. It will be held on June 15 and 16 at the Peak Vision Centre in Havelock North.