Māori labels D'Monic Intent and SYRE debut solo shows at NZ Fashion Week

By Wepiha Te Kanawa

Ngāti Maniapoto and Ngāpuhi fashion label D'Monic Intent and SYRE has their debut solo show today at New Zealand Fashion Week.  But it's not just designers debuting, it's Māori models too.

It may look calm and glamorous on the runway.  But back stage at D'Monic Intent's show, it was a completely different story.

Maxine Wooldridge says, “Major stress just before, you always think something's not going to get done, but it always come together.  We have an amazing crew that helped us, so thankful for their help.”

Designers Maxine and Samara Wooldridge had only two months to put their first solo show together.

Walking at New Zealand Fashion Week was a big deal for Trina Tanga, it was her first time.

She says, “My ultimate dream is to make it to (NZ) Fashion Week and that would take about a year to get back into it, and one of my friends got a hold of me, told me they were looking for models and I got booked straight away.”

Tauranga Moana model Tia Harris was proud she could walk for a Māori-based label.

She says, “Māori people come from New Zealand and it’s such a small part of the world, so it’s just really cool to be able to represent that kind of thing.”

For 17-year-old designer of SYRE, Aaliyah Jobe, the strenuous hours of hard work has paid off.

Jobe says, “I was feeling so nervous, I thought I was going to have a heart attack but I'm just thankful that it's over now.  People got to see my collection and hopefully they were impressed by it.”

Samara Wooldridge says, “They all listened, they were really good, and the hair and make-up team, they were awesome too and the dresses, they done it all right.”

Now these Māori designers can relax with hopes to take things to the next level at next year's Fashion Week.