July 14, 2015
Fashion runway path to indigenous success
First nations rangatahi from Australia, Aotearoa and other countries are in Taranaki this week learning how to take their first steps into the fashion industry as models, make-up artists or designers.
The Indigenous Runway Project was created by Melbourne-based psychologist Tina Waru.
She was inspired by her aunts Hana Te Hemara and Eva Eriwata and uncles Steve and Pat Heremaia, who established the first Maori fashion event in the 1970s.
She says performing kapa haka at fashion shows while at Auckland University made her realise the value of fashion and make-up to people’s self image.
"When you go in to the field of psychology you work with the young and then you realise, in terms of confidence and self esteem, that these things, especially the fashion world, are valuable to them and that’s where I started my journey into looking at how this could be a great motivator for our people," Ms Waru says.
She started the Indigenous Runway Project because she saw no platforms for indigenous design or fashion industry mentors for Aboriginal youth.
The Indigenous Fashion Runway is now part of Melbourne Fashion Week and the Melbourne Fashion Festival, and there will also be a runway show in New Plymouth this Saturday.
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