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Weaving connections between Aotearoa & Asia

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Pounamu Room, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise

139 Quay Street

Auckland, Auckland 1010

New Zealand

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Learn how two fashion entrepreneurs, one from New Zealand and one from the Philippines, came together to bring indigenous designs to life.

About this event

After being introduced by the Asia New Zealand Foundation, two leading fashion entrepreneurs, Reese Fernandez-Ruiz and Kiri Nathan from the Philippines and New Zealand respectively, came together to bring indigenous designs to life through fashion. They combined indigenous weaving techniques, cutting-edge design skills and their interest in working cross-culturally to create a unique collection of handbags released for sale in December 2021.

Join us to hear how they did this, understand the shared kaupapa behind this mahi, and meet two extraordinary wāhine changing the fashion industries in their respective countries.

Please note the Asia New Zealand Foundation requires all attendees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to attend this event. On arrival, you will be asked to show proof of your vaccination using your My Vaccine Pass.

Reese Fernandez-Ruiz came to New Zealand as a guest of the Foundation in 2017 with a group of social entrepreneurs from across Southeast Asia. This is part of the Foundation's Young Business Leaders Initiative, or YBLI for short. She is the co-founder and president of Rags2Riches, a fashion and design house empowering community artisans from the Philippines. Reese is also a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum and has spoken at various WEF panels. She has also been recognised as one of the 40 Global Social Entrepreneurs to watch in 2021 by CauseArtist. Reese will join us via Zoom.

Kiri Nathan, MNZM, is a fashion designer, weaver and artist. She founded the Kāhui Fashion Collective in 2017 by taking five Māori creatives to China to introduce and support them into trade within the largest fabric markets in the world. She has since continued to play a leadership role in supporting Māori designers to connect with China. Kiri leads the first Māori Fashion Coalition with New Zealand Trade and Enterprise. Kiri spoke at the Foundation's Te Ao Māori Hui in 2019 and was connected to our entrepreneurship programme before then.

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Date and time

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Pounamu Room, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise

139 Quay Street

Auckland, Auckland 1010

New Zealand

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Organiser Asia New Zealand Foundation Te Whītau Tūhono

Organiser of Weaving connections between Aotearoa & Asia

This event is brought to you by Asia New Zealand Foundation, a non-profit, non-partisan organisation dedicated to building New Zealand’s links with Asia through a range of programmes, including business, culture, education, media, research and its Leadership Network. For more information: www.asianz.org.nz

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