National | Kharl Wirepa

Kharl WiRepa to showcase two ‘captivating collections’ at NZFW 2023

A leading New Zealand haute couture designer will team up with Te Matatini champions Te Whānau-ā-Apanui for one showcase.

Fashion designer Kharl WiRepa (Te Arawa) will show two collections at this year’s New Zealand Fashion Week (NZFW) - including a collaboration with several East Coast designers, presented alongside Te Matatini champions Te Whānau-ā-Apanui.

Known for his seamless merger of traditional and contemporary aesthetics, WiRepa’s first show at the fashion week will feature gowns inspired by Māori culture, covered in crystals and fashioned with meticulous attention to detail.

“I wanted to create a collection that reflects the beauty and diversity of New Zealand while pushing the boundaries of fashion,” WiRepa said in a release this week.

“I hope my work inspires others to embrace their cultural heritage and explore new possibilities within the fashion world.”

The second show, Tangaroa Te Ihi Moana - The Sea is Rising, which is presented alongside Te Kapa Haka o Te Whānau-ā-Apanui and musicians Rob Ruha and Ria Hall, brings together the talents of WiRepa and a collective of East Coast designers.

His collections will be showcased on 30 August and 2 September 2.

WiRepa is one of New Zealand’s leading haute couture designers and was the first Māori designer to be featured in Vogue. His designs showed at the Musee Du Quai Branly Jacques Chirac in Paris and during London Fashion Week in 2022.