Adrienne Whitewood's fashion journey

By Te Kuru o te Marama Dewes

Adrienne Whitewood (Rongowhakaata) is showcasing her latest collection "Tā" at New Zealand Fashion Week 2017.

Inspired by Maori art and culture, Whitewood takes traditional concepts and invents unique silhouettes exploring fabric manipulation and technology.

“For me it’s all about bringing myself out as a high-end print designer.  To come to Fashion Week you have to own a market and I aim to own the high-end Māori print market here in Aotearoa,” says Whitewood.

A tour guide in Rotorua for 6 years, Whitewood says her environment informs her designs, which are for everyone.

“Half of my cutomer base is Māori the other half are non-Māori, they all want a Māori product,” says Whitewood, “The best thing I ever did is incorporate my own culture which I'm so proud of.”

MP Marama Fox thinks the clothes are outstanding.

“Beautiful.  The content, the symbols, the images- that's the beauty of it,” she says.

“I believe in creationalism,” says Westwood, “I believe I was created therefore I create.”

Adrienne says she has much more to give.

Adrienne now works full time in the industry at her store Ahu Boutique in Rotorua and online at