NZFW 2019 | 5 mins with Aritaua’s Te Ari

ARITAUA is a fashion label connected to the Modern Navigators of our collective futures, exploring the boundaries of modern technologies, meta-identities and digital landscapes.  Through their statement pieces they give you ways to express boldly who you are, where you come from and where you see yourself in the world.

What inspired your collection?
I ran a course at the Auckland Architecture School to design a Maori Marae on Mars, and encouraged students to even think about what people might be wearing on Mars as much of the landscape and structures will be of red hues, will future settlers wear clothing that speaks of their time on Earth? During this course we spoke of our Polynesian ancestors who traversed the oceans and were the astronauts of their time so I wanted to design a collection that spoke to the Modern Navigators of our time, those that navigate cyber and digital worlds as well as those who might one day step foot on other worlds.

Name 3 NZ designers we should watch out for….
So many up and coming designers but I am particularly interested in the quality of menswear designers who I find really inspiring so would have to say:
– Not For You
– J’AKE
– Cheremene Castle (Avant Garde designer now but her upcoming streetwear collection will be dope!)

Describe your quintessential customer…
My customers are people that inspire me and so it is great to see them posting up on Instagram how they wear my jewellery and garments which gives me ideas of how to style things and even of new design ideas.

What’s your social media of choice?
Definitely Instagram as it is a great way to connect to your customer base although I am using WeChat a lot now connecting to International markets.

Who do you love to follow and where?
Virgil Abloh from Off White/Louis Vuitton – I work in Architecture which is where Virgil started his design career so I see similarities in his process and how his designs are also influenced by architecture.

What are the top 3 songs on your Spotify playlist?
Playboi Carti – Kid Cudi (For Chills)
Cardi B – Press (When I need to hype up)
Agnes Obel – Aventine (For Focusing)

Word association
New Zealand – “Black and Layered”
Fashion – “We become the masks we wear”
Music – “To shut out the World”
Art – “Self indulgence at its best”
Winter – “When we dream of moving to L.A.”
Holiday – “A chance to focus on the side hustle”

Aritaua shows as part of the Group Show on Tuesday 27 August at NZ Fashion Week 2019.