The new designer names coming up the ranks in NZ fashion

1 September 2017
By Fashion Quarterly


After battling it out to have the opportunity of a lifetime, a selection of New Zealand’s rising fashion designers will see their creations come to life on the runway at the 2017 New Zealand Fashion Week Graduate show.

The show supported by Brotherwhich took place at The Flooring Foundation Runway on Wednesday 30 August 2017 saw 11 budding designers debut their latest collections to all the fashion enthusiasts in attendance. The designers showcasing their works were the top fashion graduates from around the country who shared with us their love for fashion and design prowess.  If you’re a fashion-obsessive and looking for a young, fresh perspective, these are some of the upcoming designers to watch!

Get to know some of the designers who showed their collections in the NZFW Graduate show below!

Tia Feng

After stumbling into old issues of Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar when she was young, Tia Feng became obsessed with the infinite worlds of creativity and imagination they presented. Already having a passion for the fashion industry, this then fuelled her desire to become a serious fashion designer.

Having started her own label just over a year ago, heading to the New Zealand Fashion Week runway was the natural next step on her way to her world domination. As a runway rookie Tia’s collection Hard Candy will be debuted at the upcoming Graduate show.  Using her previous collection featuring tulle ‘prom’ dresses, as a basis for her new collection, Tia has introduced some fun new fabrics and textures throughout her new collection which reflects her growing inspiration. With flowers and ruffles as the primary visual element in her designs, her collection is sure to bring out your inner girly girl and cheeky side.

Tia Feng collection

Thanushi Marage

After a lot of long hours and commitment to the design process, AUT Graduate and current honours student at AUT’s Fashion school, Thanushi Marage, has created a collection to be shown at the 2017 Graduate show. With inspiration being drawn from Thanushi’s previous collection 71 Insurgents (showcased at the 2016 AUT Rookie show), their new collection Path of Exile draws on the same military concepts.


The upcoming collection showcases a range of backpacks and rainwear that combines both current and on trend military aesthetic with everyday functionality. Each of the six backpacks that will be showcased has been created with individual purposes and functionalities to give the user confidence to do whatever they desire, without having to worry about their belongings. With a goal to create sustainable products that are both stylish and well-designed, Thanushi’s collection is just the beginning of what is set to be a long career in design and innovative thinking. 


Jordan Noah

Jordan began her career in fashion design at the young age of 8 making clothes for her Barbie dolls by sticking them together with glue. For her 14th birthday she received her first sewing machine from her grandfather and it was onwards and upwards from there. Having debuted her design work at her graduate show last year and at the Walk the Walk fashion show (organised by NZ Fashion Museum and the Heart of the City), Jordan is no rookie to the runways and showing her collection at NZFW is a huge step forward for her.

Her latest collection Innerbloom will be showcased at the upcoming Graduate show. The collection features 8 looks that explores loose shapes, simplistic silhouettes combined with voluminous feminine frills, raw edges, waist ties and rouche detailing. It’s a womenswear collection that can be worn anywhere and anytime, and caters to women of all ages. Jordan initially had her heart set on being a fashion buyer but quickly realised that being a designer was her real passion.



Tess Norquay

After picking textiles as an elective in fourth form, Tess’ love for fashion grew and she couldn’t help but consider studying fashion at university. Although she grew up wanting to be a “bug scientist” a few close up encounters with wetas up close killed that dream quickly, so fashion it was.

From showing at the iD Emerging Designer awards in March this year to now debuting a never before seen collection at Fashion week, Tess is well on her way to becoming an established designer. Her collection aptly titled Please Like Me features lots of prints, colours and over-exaggerated silhouettes. The inspiration behind her collection is the trends she noticed on social media where women’s bodies were being treated as products. The collection explores the patriarchal ideologies and the parody the advertising tropes that are used to make women out to be a ‘product’.



Victoria Notoa

Having completed a certificate in fashion at the Eastern Institution of Technology and studied a Bachelor of Design (majoring in fashion) at AUT, Victoria pursued her lifelong dream to become a fashion designer. Having shown her previous works at the EIT fashion institute, AUT rookie show and the Toko Pea show, Victoria is no rookie to the runways. Already having established her own label Notoa and now showing at NZFW, Victoria is well on her way to achieving her goal of going international. Her latest collection showing at the Graduate show, God Dream, is a compilation of ready-to-wear clothing that is inspired by and based on her own personal faith.



Shannen Young

Shannen will be debuting her work for the first time on the NZFW runways at the Graduate show. Drawing on her interest in art and design, her latest collection Allusion Illusion combines a mixture of 2D silhouettes with bold 3D visual illusion prints to create unique and exciting works of art. After studying both eastern and western dress, Shannen begun to explore alternative pattern making in order to deflect from creating a garment that would be seen either eastern or western. This was then inspired by her cultural identity and being in between two different cultures.

To check out all 11 designers featured in the Graduate show CLICK HERE!

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