Māori fashion design is fast becoming a major contender on the global stage, yet Rotorua locals have the chance to see it in their backyard next month.

Te Wero (the challenge) is a fashion runway event bringing together a collaboration of emerging and established Māori designers at one event.

The red-carpet fashion runway event is being held in Rotorua at the start of April.

Organisers Peter Duncan and Taongahuia Maxwell said Te Wero would highlight the incredible design talent among Māori New Zealanders.

Advertisement

"Māori fashion design is fast becoming a major contender on the global stage.

"It's a field that goes against the grain of traditional European thinking when it comes to fashion, putting masterfully created and contemporary and unique design in the spotlight."

A piece created by Taongahuia Maxwell of Kahu Huia. Photo / Supplied
A piece created by Taongahuia Maxwell of Kahu Huia. Photo / Supplied

The pair said Te Wero presented the beauty of masterfully created and generational design techniques, paired with contemporary and unique design innovation.

"It's going to be a fantastic event."

Lead designer Maxwell owns Iti Gifts online and shares a retail store in Rotorua.

Although new to the fashion industry, she completed a Bachelor of Māori Art in 2017 and established her label Kahu Huia (Huia Clothing) in 2019.

Other participating designers include Jeanine Clarkin, who has been leading the field in Māori fashion since 1994; popular jewellery and fashion designer Nichola Te Kiri, who has various accolades under her belt; emerging designers Paulette Teatai-Ariki and local favourite Wairata Warbrick; and 2019 Miromoda Avante Garde section winner Chermene Castle.

Jewellery designer Brady Walker will also join the team, providing his stainless steel pieces to adorn their garments.

Advertisement

Te Wero is on from 6.30pm on April 4, at Rotorua's Energy Events Centre.

Tickets are on sale now from Ticketmaster.