New line fresh start for designer Kharl Wirepa

By Taroi Black

Kharl Wirepa launches his new line this week. The Rotorua fashion designer believes the new line of dresses is his way of overcoming his conviction on 14 charges of benefit fraud in September.

Wirepa says, “For me, it was like, "oh here we go again another challenge in life to overcome", and it was another element to help me drive myself to the next level of success. I always find when anything bad happens or anyone is to you or trying to bring you down, it's an advice that I give to anyone, always the best revenge is always a success.”

The new collection of dresses were inspired by the iconic actress Grace Kelly who married the Prince of Monaco. 

“I think a lot of that culture has been forgotten about elegance and grace I remember my nanna and my aunties and when they use to go to church or they use to come to town elegantly. They were Māori women that had it all together.”

Among his achievements this year which includes his design featuring in the British Vogue September Issue, he'll also receive the Kiwibank Hero Medal Award next week for his services to the homeless and the wider community and to raise one hundred thousand dollars for local charities.  

“It was a really good experience for me. It was like a baptism of fire.”

Despite all the controversy in the past 2 months, Wirepa will be featured in his very own reality show next year in Auckland.