From curtains to couture: Meet Holly Lauren, the Hawke's Bay teen taking on Fashion Week

Holly Lauren dress
One of Holly Lauren's designs, showcased on her Instagram. Photo credit: Supplied.

New Zealand Fashion Week (NZFW) is approaching and it can't come soon enough for one young Kiwi designer.

Holly Norman - Holly Lauren on the labels of her designs - is a 19-year-old designer from Havelock in Hawke's Bay, and she's creating a stir online with her handmade designs created from fabrics from local op-shops and linen closets.

"I would take clothes from op-shops and resurrect hem - cut them up and put them back together to wear to school and stuff," Norman told Newshub.

Her extravagant designs have included sheets and curtains given a second life.

Soon, she was being commissioned to create one-of-a-kind pieces by her friends, including a series of pants she says are the real money earner.

The teen is part of the New Generation exhibition at this year's NZFW; an opportunity she almost passed up.

"I applied for it and got accepted and then I saw the cost, around $6000," she said.

"I dismissed it and thought it would be something to work towards next year.

"Then someone from Fashion Week got in touch and said I should keep going with the application and that I was in with a good shot."

It paid off. Norman will be exhibiting in a week that showcases some of the biggest names in the Kiwi fashion industry - not bad for a girl who only finished school last year.

Her process, she said, is very "organic".

"I don't really plan my work. I have a very rough idea which develops as I sew it."

Norman said she hasn't thought too much about where she'll be in the future, but would "like to be quite big and well known".

The real measure of success will be when she has some way of manufacturing her goods. "Not having to sit on the ground and sew everything," she says. "That's where I'd like to be."

NZFW runs from August 27 to September 2 at the ANZ Viaduct Events Centre in Auckland.