BusinessOctober 10, 2019

Meet Kiri Nathan: the woman fusing te ao Māori with the world of fashion


Business is Boring is a weekly podcast series presented by The Spinoff in association with Callaghan Innovation. Host Simon Pound speaks with innovators and commentators focused on the future of New Zealand. This week he talks to Kiri Nathan, the co-founder of a Māori-inspired fashion brand that’s been gifted to some of the world’s biggest names.

This week we talked to Kiri Nathan, the fashion designer fusing centuries of Māori tradition with an industry so often focused on the future.

Nathan’s pounamu, carved by her husband and business partner Jason, and her woven kākahu cloaks have been gifted to visitors from Barack Obama to the Duchess of Sussex. Both are part of the Kiri Nathan brand’s unique offering: contemporary pieces that represent the modern fashion world but with their roots in te ao Māori.

It’s a concept that she’s had to forge room for, but she’s succeeded through determination, talent and dedication. And she’s not forgotten to carve the path out for those who wish to follow her journey. Nathan has created the Kāhui Collective – a group fostering collaboration and knowledge-sharing to create a uniquely Māori fashion industry.

The group has had scores of designers involved, they’ve taken trips to China as part of their development programme, and in the latest in a long line of awards and recognition for her pioneering work Nathan is a recent recipient of a Blake Leadership Award.

To talk her journey, how she’s making fashion work in positive ways, and what’s next, Kiri Nathan joined Business is Boring for a chat.

Either download this episode (right click and save)have a listen below or via Spotify, subscribe through iTunes (RSS feed).

The Spinoff’s business section is enabled by our friends at Kiwibank. Kiwibank backs small to medium businesses, social enterprises and Kiwi who innovate to make good things happen.

Check out how Kiwibank can help your business take the next step.

Was this the light that the prime minister stared at while designing the traffic light framework? Probably not tbh. Photo: RNZ / Angus Dreaver

Excuse me, what colour is this? 

Attention drivers and other people who have from time to time looked at traffic lights: this is a scandal.
Mad Chapman, Editor
The Spinoff has covered the news that matters in 2021, most recently the delta outbreak. Help us continue this coverage, and so much more, by supporting The Spinoff Members.Madeleine Chapman, EditorJoin Members

Get The Spinoff
in your inbox