This year's New Zealand Fashion Week showcased diversity, inclusivity - stylist

A Kiwi stylist to the stars has praised this year's NZFW for showing off both the talent and the diversity within Aotearoa's fashion industry. 

Sammy Salsa has worked with singers Stan Walker, Ginny Blackmore and Ladi6. On Friday morning he joined the AM Show to discuss what really makes NZFW special.

"[It's] what NZFW is perfect for and that's why we need this showcase; we've got all these amazing young designers coming through the doors and we need this platform [so] they can grow as fashion creatives," Salsa says.  

"If you look at fashion on a global scale, it's a perfect time for a diverse industry within the fashion sector. If you look at all the fashion magazine covers out on the stands, [almost] every cover in there is a black woman, and that is something to celebrate."

tattood model at NZFW
A make-up artist prepares a model for the runway at Fashion Week. Photo credit: Getty
model runway trelise cooper
A model walks the runway at the Trelise Cooper fashion show. Photo credit: Getty

Salsa says that to see the "diversity and inclusivity and equality" at NZFW makes him think we're now on the "right track".  

"Fashion is fashion, clothes are clothes, but when there's meaning and narrative behind your fashion and your style and your collection, I think that never goes out of fashion," he says. 

There has been a notably diverse range of models across NZFW 2018, including amputee Jess Quinn walking in both the Stolen Girlfriends and Jockey shows. 

The former Dancing with the Stars contestant posted on Instagram that "girls don't simply decide to hate their bodies, we teach them to".  

"Thank you @jockeyunderwear for helping me celebrate mine & all the unique babes on that runway."

Sammy Salsa, himself Polynesian, has confronted the lack of diversity in the fashion industry in the past. He recalled to Noted last year the time he walked into a prominent New Zealand designer's store to request samples for a shoot, and was greeted by a staff member saying, "we don't want to buy anything from you today"

"The lack of diversity in the New Zealand fashion industry seriously hurts our minorities," he says. "I feel like I've had to work twice as hard because I'm Polynesian."

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



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