Follow her journey at @morarfashions and read the full interview below.
Firstly, congratulations on your Vogue India Cover! That’s an incredible achievement!
How did this come about?
It all started when a London based creative, Anita Chibba saw my post about my yellow jacket on my Instagram. She got in touch and asked if she could wear the jacket I made in a shoot she was doing for Vogue India.
Have you always been interested in Fashion Design?
I’ve wanted to be a fashion designer for honestly as long as I can remember. I’ve always loved dressing up from a very young age and loved all aspects of fashion as a whole. Ranging from the catwalks to shopping and everything else in between.
Can you tell us a little bit about the concept behind your design?
Absolutely, I looked to create a garment around protection in these unpredictable times. I focused this jacket on the comfort of our beds, a place we all spent a lot of time in during the COVID-19 pandemic. I for one certainly didn’t want to leave the safety and comfort of my own bed therefore I wanted to create a garment that resembled a walking bed. The colours and the stuffing of the jacket were all carefully considered to be as plush and comforting as possible.
Where do you get the inspiration for your garments from?
My inspiration comes from literally anything and everything, from Instagram to Music. I always pick something I’m passionate about then everything just grows from there. As a designer I like to respond to social concerns and be designing for a purpose. It's more motivating to me to see an area that I could add my creativity to and work towards it, similar to my yellow jacket method.
Are there particular types of materials and textiles that you like to work with?
I’m open to anything! I don’t ever stick to the same fabric; I just always work with bright colours! I really enjoyed working with the plush materials in this jacket, but I’m wanting to explore more thicker recycled materials this year for structure.
How did your garment end up on the cover of Vogue India?
A London based creator Anita Chhiba, originally from the same town as me in Pukekohe/Auckland, has a platform called Diet Paratha. She uses her platform to celebrate South Asian talent worldwide. I was fortunate that she came home to NZ over the summer and was doing a photoshoot for Vogue. She had messaged me and asked to wear the jacket I said OF COURSE!
Were you involved with Vogue in any other way?
I was yes, the model is Anita Chibba the creator herself. I was home for summer, and she invited me along to watch and assist with the shoot. The whole team behind the set were South Asian creatives from the makeup artist to the photographers. It was just awesome to be there and see the behind the scenes.
Where did you grow up and go to school?
I grew up on a farm in Pukekohe, a country town in South Auckland, and went to the local schools in the community.
What did your family think of your choice of career?
My family is super supportive, Mum and Dad always said growing up to just do what I’m interested in and follow my dreams. They love seeing the creative things I come up with and are excited to see where I go with it :)
Do you make your own clothes? Who are your favourite clothes designers?
I don’t make as many clothes as I would like too, I spend most of my time designing. My favourite designer of all time would be Versace, I love the brands ultra-glamorous creations and their use of bright colours. As of recently for my upcoming project, I’m looking into Thierry Mugler and Supriya Lele – I love them both.
What would you say to someone who was thinking about studying Fashion Design at Toi Rauwhārangi?
I have absolutely loved my time studying fashion design at Massey. I would say to just go for it! I barely knew anything about sewing before coming to Massey and that was completely fine. The tutors are amazing and teach you everything you need to know! One thing me and my classmates all thought before coming to Massey was that it would be a very competitive environment but in fact it’s the exact opposite. Everyone plays an inspiration to me and the environment is so motivating and creative.
Where would you like to go from here?
My goal is to head overseas and start a business. I'm still unsure what lens of fashion I want to dive into being a designer or stylist etc but a goal for sure is to have my own successful brand overseas.
In 2018, Courtney Gilbert led a team of Creative Media Production students to create Kiwis Can Fly, a fun animated series for children. Now, Kiwis Can Fly is broadcasting to kiwi kids via NZ On Air's HEIHEI platform.
Toioho ki Apiti Bachelor of Maori Visual Arts student Jessica Collins was awarded the Prime Minister’s Exemplar Award at the 2019 New Zealand Youth Awards in June.
Our Bachelor of Design with Honours students Ashlee, Frankie, Georgia, Lillian and Troix spent Semester One of 2019 interning at agencies in Hong Kong.