Young talent are set to drive the next wave of New Zealand fashion

Young talent are set to drive the next wave of New Zealand fashion 4(Credit: Eden Harnell)

We were blown away by the standard of work at this year's New Zealand Fashion Week, but one show claimed top spot showcasing a range of beautiful designs and the best part is - they were all designed,  modeled and styled by youths.

‘Walk The Line’, currently in its 8th year, was the only show on the NZ Fashion Week schedule run by youth for youth, and featured original designs by 50 fashion darlings from across the country.

Every garment was designed, sewn and styled by teenagers aged 13-18, while the show itself was managed by YMCA Auckland’s youth development arm, Raise Up.

Judging the youngsters was blogger Simone Anderson, alongside fellow judges Doris de Pont ONZM and fashion industry veteran Carly Tolley. We caught up with Simone to find out about Walk the Line and what caught her eye at this year's New Zealand Fashion week.

Tell us about 'Walk the Line' as part of NZFW?

'Walk the Line' allows aspiring and emerging teenage designers to showcase their talent on the nation's most prominent fashion platform. It's the only show during NZFW that not only entirely features youth, but is run by them too. The whole thing is put on by 13-18-year-olds belonging to the North Shore crew of the YMCA's youth development program, Raise Up.

What is up for grabs?

This year's supreme winner, fourteen-year-old Natasha Senior was awarded a $2000 scholarship to NZ Fashion Tech to pursue her fashion design career dreams. Winner or not, however, each participant walks away with practical skills that bode well for their future—leadership, event management, promotion, and more.


As a judge at the event, what do you look out for? 

I personally look for bold, beautiful looks, that are worn with confidence! I also looked for good technique and precise work.


This year's theme is "Be who you want to be" - being in the public eye can you relate with this theme? 

Most definitely, I think it's so important these days to not feel the need to fit into someone else mould and always create your own unique version of yourself or your work.  

Young talent are set to drive the next wave of New Zealand fashion 5(Credit: Eden Harnell)

How important do you feel fashion is for self-expression? 

Extremely important! It's such a fun and easy way to change up who you are, you switch outfits depending on your mood or style of the day and always change it up.


What's your go-to statement outfit? 

I love a good jumpsuit, it always makes me feel so confident and powerful. 

Young talent are set to drive the next wave of New Zealand fashion 6(Credit: Isha Arora)

How important is it for young talent to drive the next wave of New Zealand fashion?

It's paramount. In today's digital age, the fashion world is more accessible than ever to social media savvy young designers; they're popping up everywhere to contend with the legacy brands of old.


Any advice for young budding fashion enthusiasts wanting to break into the industry?

Before anything, you need to know what your vision is—what you believe in—and learn how to articulate it. All of the most successful designs at this year's Walk the Line had a story behind them. Make people fall in love with that, and the fashion success will follow.

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