Wairata Warbrick creates garments inspired by nature and her Māori culture.

So it seems fitting the girl raised in Rotorua's Whakawerawera Village needs only look out the window for inspiration.

Last year Warbrick graduated from Massey University with a Bachelor of Design (hons) majoring in fashion.

In 2017 she featured in the Student Life section of the New Zealand Apparel magazine and it is through her relationship with the magazine that she has been invited to attend the Vancouver Fashion Week next month.


"The magazine takes three New Zealand designers to the event each year and I was fortunate to be one of the three chosen," Warbrick said.

"To say I'm nervous is an understatement. Nervous but also very excited."

She will showcase five outfits at Vancouver Fashion Week which runs from March 18 to 24.

"I take a lot of inspiration from my Māori culture and from our New Zealand natural surroundings. They are both evident in my designs.

"Being born and raised in the village has played a part is this I'm sure."

The former Rotorua Girls' High and Rotorua Intermediate student has fundraised to pay the $5000 registration fee and is now working and fundraising for her flights and accommodation.

She is currently working fulltime in the village café. Her friend and work colleague, Destiny Makaui, has set up a Givealittle page to help Warbrick get to Vancouver.

"I have worked with this wonderful girl for a few years," Makaui wrote on the page. "You will never find anyone more deserving of this awesome opportunity.

"We are so proud of all her achievements and would love to see her on that world stage showcasing what New Zealand apparel is all about."