Young Māori designer to debut at NZ Fashion Week

By Wepiha Te Kanawa

NZ Fashion Week kicked off yesterday in Auckland, and amongst the current crop of fashion designers are some inspiring Māori talent climbing the ladder to success.

Two Māori fashion designers, Amber Whitecliff and Salasai, both had their fashion shows today and well-known designer Trelise Cooper has her show later this evening.

At only 24 years old, Ngāti Kahungunu descendant Jimmie Mackay will see his creations walk down the runway for the first time at NZ Fashion Week tomorrow.

“I’m pretty excited, it's tomorrow night, so I’ll be going down there at 5 o'clock, it opens for 7 shows I think, so it will be interested to see or hear any feedback,” says Jimmie Mackay.

His design has won him a trip to India where he'll meet and collaborate with other designers, and he has big dreams.

“After Fashion Week, I go to India and then I’ll be coming back and I’ll be looking for a positions.  But ideally I would like to start an accessory brand working with leather.”

At the moment, he's doing an internship with well-established fashion designer Paula Ryan.  She says he has a bright future.

“He will have accolades, the media will be there, the press will be there.  They can be kind one minute and not-so-kind, but because he's on the crest of the wave, he’s lucky he's in a good position,” says Paula Ryan.

Jimmie's designs will hit the catwalk tomorrow.