New Zealand Fashion Week returns for its 20th year under new ownership after being cancelled last year due to the pandemic.
The event’s founder, Dame Pieter Stewart, has sold the event to Fiji-born entrepreneur Feroz Ali for an undisclosed amount.
In an interview with the New Zealand Herald, Stewart said Fashion Week had been a “huge risk personally”, as Covid-19 forced the cancellation of last year’s event and leaving her without income.
Stewart, who has been with Fashion Week since its launch in 2001, would remain active as the show’s director and produce this year’s event, happening in Auckland Town Hall and Aotea Square this August.
“For now, it’s business as usual as we head towards New Zealand Fashion Week 2021, but I am delighted that the future of NZFW will be in good hands,” Stewart told the New Zealand Herald.
“There is no other event in New Zealand that brings our industry together in the way Fashion Week does. There have been many defining moments over the past 20 years, and I am proud that we have managed to drive real change in the industry.”
Ali is currently based in Vancouver and owns Whitecliffe College in Auckland, which focuses on design, art, fashion, sustainability, and technology. A few years ago, Ali bought New Zealand Fashion Tech and merged it with Whitecliffe the following year under the Asia Pacific Education Corporation (APED).
Ali said he would consult widely with the fashion industry to make sure both budding and experienced Kiwi designers had a platform on which to showcase their work and to form a plan for the next decade.