Massey University Communications student, Katrina Matete (22) randomly emailed Anna Jobsz Public Relations - NZ Fashion Week's savvy PR company last year and volunteered to help, "I was willing to do anything to get in there" says Matete. Twelve months later the budding fashion media buff returns to NZ Fashion week, not a volunteer but Project Coordinator for new Maori player on the fashion scene - Miromoda.
This, the result of Matete sending off another random email to Miromoda co founder Ata Te Kanawa advising she had worked at NZ Fashion Week for their key PR firm and would love to work on Miromoda.
"When she mentioned her work at last years Fashion Week and how she got there, she was the perfect fashion cadet we were looking for," says Te Kanawa.
Combining the languages of Te Reo Maori and Italian, Miro being Maori for the twinning of fibres - and moda Italian for fashion, Miromoda is the brand name for the Indigenous Maori Fashion Apparel Board (IMFAB) which has redefined access to NZ premiere fashion event by offering Maori designers the opportunity to win participation in their showcase event. In its relative infancy, Miromoda formed in 2008 is small, boutique, chic and for Maori designers who would otherwise not get an opportunity to sidle up to big fashion names or experience media and buyers on a national and international level that NZFW brings.
"One of our designers said she was heading off to New York based on the very fact that after showcasing at NZFW last year she's out for 6-7 pages on Google," says Te Kanawa.
In organising this year's competition, the main concern for the aspiring Communications student come Project Coordinator is finding Maori male models. Matete says she's about three short but is very pleased with the calibre of female models she's booked.
"We're ideally looking for Maori models that not only have an interest in modelling but also have that hint of confidence in their look, walk and presence. And I'm rapt we have found quite a few."
The 2010 Miromoda Awards competition is a closed affair and based on the popular model scout television show - Project Runway. At Miromoda's competition, 17 designers will face a panel of judges that include Nikki Harmsen of NZ Fashion Week, Mapihi Opai the CEO of NZ Industry of Fashion and Jack Yan Editor of Lucire.
It kicks off this Saturday at Massey University's Tea Gardens. Models with professional make up and hair supplied by Wellington's getfunkd salons will model each designer collection accordingly.
Later in the day at an invitation only event, one signature garment per designer showcase will precede the announcement of who will participate in the Miromoda Showcase at NZ Fashion in September at Auckland's Viaduct Basin.
Organisers are also finalising the overall winner package which includes front row VIP tickets to the upcoming Rosemount Sydney Fashion Festival 23-28th August 2010 sourced by Sydney based Miromoda Co Founder and international design judge Rex Turnbull.
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