Spanish label with Māori-inspired clothing comes under fire

By Mare Haimona-Riki

A Spanish apparel label called Kimoa has recently released a Māori-inspired clothing line.

The label's latest advertisement displays models wearing painted on moko while one female model performs what appears to be a pūkana and whātero.

The label is owned by Formula One driver Fernando Alonso who started the company in 2017.

The company told Te Ao Māori News the idea of the collection was to make a tribute to the Māori culture since.

"It was so inspiring for us and very meaningful when the name of the company was decided. Last year, our creative team did a trip to New Zealand, visiting Waiotapu, Rotorua, Waikite Valley, Tauranga Bay, Tasman Sea, Milford Sound ... So with all that inspiration, it has created this collection."

Source / Facebook

Television personality and singer, songwriter Te Hamua Nikora responded to the advertisement and website, asking if the company worked with any Māori people to make the clothing line and why the model poked her tongue out.

"What’s with the terribly done tīwhana on the man’s head? Moko kanohi are only for Māori! And what even does “Kimoa” mean?"

The company responded and said it had worked with print developers for the collection and branding directors for the name.

"Hopefully to work with some Māori artists for possible next collaborations.”

Nikora recently started a Facebook page called Our culture is not your paycheck that aims to expose companies for appropriation of Māori culture.