The MIROMODA competition has helped nurture some of the country’s top Māori designers and this year it celebrates its 10 year anniversary.
Streetwear designer Misty Ratima of Ngāti Rongomaiwahine won the supreme title at the competition two years in a row, giving her the opportunity to showcase her collections at New Zealand Fashion Week 2017 and 2018.
“It’s a huge achievement for me because MIROMODA was always the level that I was trying to raise up to,” says Ratima.
Since then other opportunities for her have opened up for, including becoming a finalist on Project Runway New Zealand last year.
“What it’s done for me is it’s boosted me up into the scene where people actually know my name now and they are asking me for clothing, she says.
“So it’s given me some leverage in the industry which I’m quite happy about.”
She says MIROMODA helps to develop up and coming Māori designers.
“If you're an emerging designer and you're young and you don’t really know where you git within the industry MIROMODA brings you through essentially celebrating your uniqueness as a Māori.”
Last year Ratima showcased two collections at NZFW including Decolonise about mana wāhine and the whare tāngata.
“It’s just about women reclaiming their own mana mōtuhake when it came to how they felt what they wanted to share, what they didn’t want to share and just being in absolute control of anything they wanted to do.”
Other successful designers who have come through MIROMODA include Kiri Nathan, Adrienne Whitewood, Pia Naera-Scott, Kharl Wirepa, Nichola Te Kiri, Tessa Bailey-Lont and more.
Overall almost 300 designers have entered the competition over the last nine years.