The winners of NZ Fashion Week's 'new talent' competition came together in Auckland last week for a very special shoot
New Zealand Fashion Week is celebrating its 10th year this September, but the image you'll soon see splashed across billboards to promote it won't have been created solely by old hands.
In a bid to encourage up-and-coming talent within the fashion industry, the team at Fashion Week launched a competition several months ago, offering young stylists, models, makeup artists and hairstylists the chance to work on this year's billboard campaign and help put together the New Generation show.
The judges selected 15 finalists and people were given the opportunity to vote for their favourite contestants in each category on Fashion Week's Facebook page.
Last Thursday, the winners came together in Auckland — along with their industry mentors — to work on the billboard shoot.
Stylist Alison Lewis from Christchurch was one of the five who got through.
She said the best thing about the shoot was seeing the vision coming together and collaborating with the other winners to get a great result.
Her mentor, Chris Lorimer, added that the competition opened up new avenues for young people hoping to break into the fashion industry.
"An opportunity like this is huge... you don't get it any other way and I think it works for Fashion Week beautifully."
Asrita Singh from Auckland — the winner of the makeup artist category — said she felt "really fortunate" to be mentored by M.A.C. makeup artist Amber D and was looking forward to working at Fashion Week.
"It's a very rare opportunity that someone gets to experience this and I intend to make the most of it," she said.
Fashion Week's Anna Jobsz said the competition and subsequent billboard shoot had exceeded expectations.
"I think we were all excited and open-minded because nothing like this has ever been done before in New Zealand," she told nzherald.co.nz.
"The shoot was exciting. Everyone was in harmony... you could tell that although the winners were in awe of their mentors, they also had their own ideas and it was great to see the collaboration."
Hunter McLeod, from New Plymouth, was the winner of the male model category and said he relished the opportunity to work with industry experts.
He entered the competition on a whim after seeing it advertised in a newspaper which was lying on a bench at the McDonald's he works at.
Although people have often told him he could be a model, McLeod said he was surprised to have been chosen.
"In the end it was between me and three others, but I had a lot of support from back home [on the Facebook campaign]."
McLeod said he was now concentrating on trying to find an agency and getting as much advice as he could from others in the business.