MIROMODA refuses to allow COVID-19 to ruin their plans this year

By Jessica Tyson

The challenging COVID-19 environment isn’t stopping New Zealand’s leading indigenous fashion events company Miromoda from their continuing their programme this year.

Co-founder Ata Te Kanawa says the company, which helps nurture up and coming Māori designers to appear at New Zealand Fashion Week (NZFW), will continue.

The Miromoda programme usually starts four months out from NZFW which usually takes places in August but has been postponed.

“We thought, you know what we’re just going to go ahead we’re going to delay our programme slightly but come four months, come six months we’ll be ready,” says Te Kanawa.

The competition will be hosted online and the winners will appear at NZFW whenever the event date is set.

“One of the reasons we decided to go ahead was we thought it’s all about creativity and the virus does not stop creativity and if we can develop a workaround situation and tech allows for that.”

Previously Miromoda has only been for designers who identify as being Māori. But a new category has opened up this year for designers who identify as Pacific.

"We are thrilled to add a section for designers who identify as Pacific, the addition was always a matter of when, not if."

Te Kanawa says the show has always had tino rangatiratanga at the heart as well as a guest spot for other indigenous races.

“We’ve had Torres Straight Australian, Samoan, Tongan and I just think that after 10 years we’ve come to a place where we’re confident enough to maintain our position as Māori leading it but we really do want to extend the invitation to our Pacifica whānau and they’ve got similar stories to us.”

Te Kanawa says since registrations have opened this week there has been more interest than there has been in the past.  

“It means more people are just wanting to do something different from the doom and gloom than what COVID has imposed on us all.”

The 2020 annual Māori Fashion Design Competition opened early this week and closes July 31, 2020.