The annual Miromoda Fashion Design competition has opened a month earlier than usual due to a high level of interest.
Miromoda founder, Ata Te Kanawa, says this is the first time organisers have been inundated with early enquiries.
Keen Māori designers vie for a spot in the coveted Miromoda Showcase at New Zealand Fashion Week (NZFW), which is held in August.
Ms Te Kanawa believes the spike in interest in the Miromoda competition is due to the expensive costs to show at NZFW.
"Let's just say it costs more than a few thousand dollars to show there, which for most designers, even established ones, is something they would struggle with. Our group show and competition format, that we secure sponsorship for, suddenly makes it doable for these emerging designers,” she says.
The Miromoda Showcase has been part of the NZFW runway since 2009, and has been sponsored by NZ Post since August 2016.
Winners and runners up from three categories in the June fashion design competition, will show up to eight looks each to a large audience, including national and international media.
Up to 10 designers will be chosen from a shortlist of 30 by Miromoda's head judge, NZFW founder Dame Pieter Stewart, Auckland fashion designer Adrian Hailwood and Lucire Magazine publisher, Jack Yan.
Te Kanawa says, “One thing we’re really pleased with in 2017 is the opportunity to work with the Porirua City Council and return to the Pataka Arts & Cultural Museum. As a venue, it worked really well for everyone.”
Last year’s events included a "Model Call" of which more than 50 registered and two places for novice models to walk at NZ Fashion week for Miromoda were up for grabs.
This year’s model call is scheduled for June 3, this year's competition will take place on Saturday 24 June.
The competition will serve as a build up to a Porirua City Council hosted runway show of Miromoda established designers in the evening.
Porirua City Council events manager, Robert Baldock says, “Miromoda provides a great pathway for the youth of Porirua to build confidence and showcase their creative talents through modelling and fashion design, as well as, gaining experience coordinating hair, make-up and hospitality for such a high calibre event. We are very pleased to build on our relationship with Miromoda and welcome them back to Pataka and Porirua to celebrate Matariki in 2017.”