Kiri Nathan to open NZ Fashion Week

Hazel Wineera-Ellis wears Kiri Nathan. Photo David Shields

Kiri Nathan is set to open New Zealand Fashion Week 2023.

Nathan is well known for her bespoke red carpet stunners – remember that stunning gown worn by Chelsea Winstanley at the 2020 Oscars – and contemporary handwoven Kākahu (garments) inspired by Māori culture, indigenous practices and New Zealand.

Today’s announcement that Nathan has landed the coveted opening spot at NZFW should not be a surprise. Her kākahu have been worn on the shoulders of Jacinda Adern, Barack and Michelle Obama and Meghan Markle.

Nathan (Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Hine, Ngāti Maru, Ngāti Hauā, Ngāti Paoa), MNZM (for her contribution to Māori and the fashion industry), is believed to be the first New Zealand fashion brand to work with Walt Disney studios on the world premiere red carpet reveal for MOANA and The Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, The Walt Disney Museum and Queen Sirikit’s Thai Silk Museum all house pieces of her work. 

Nathan launched her own label in 2010 and has garnered a string of accolades and awards including; New Zealand Smokefree Awards, New Zealand World of Wearable Art Awards, Miromoda Fashion Awards, The Supreme Award at Creative Youth Awards and Supreme Award at Westfield Style Pasifika. She has also been honoured with a Sir Peter Blake leadership award and was the winner of the 2019 MWDI Māori Business Woman of the Year. 

Nathan currently sits on the board of the ‘I Have a Dream’ charitable trust, supporting the education and wellbeing of over 1500 decile one children, as well as the advisory board for Super Diverse Woman and is a founding member of the Wāhine Toa initiative that identifies and mentors leadership in young Māori Women.

Another highlight on the 2023 New Zealand Fashion Week calendar is the Miromoda Showcase on August 31. Miromoda has presented indigenous high fashion collections at Fashion Week since 2009 and has supported many Māori designers over the years including Nathan.

NZFW returns to the Viaduct Events Centre from 29 August to September 2 after a three-year hiatus (due to Covid 19 lockdowns forcing the cancellation of New Zealand’s penultimate fashion event) with a focus on sustainability, inclusivity, innovation, connection, and cultural identity.

Leading fashion heavyweights Kate Sylvester, Juliette Hogan, Kathryn Wilson, Nom*d and Campbell Luke will also be presenting collections on the runway with more to be confirmed.

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