Getting things made in New Zealand can be expensive.
But for Pia Naera it's extremely important.
The 21-year-old Bucklands Beach resident officially launched her fashion label Pia Boutique this year and says keeping her garments New Zealand-made is a top priority.
"Getting stuff made in New Zealand is more expensive but I want to keep it all locally made. My fabric is printed in Wellington and the garments are made up here," she says.
"My nana taught me the basics of sewing but I definitely don't have the skills – or the time – to do it all myself so I have a local seamstress who puts it all together once I've cut it out.
"It's great being able to meet face-to-face with the people working for me. I get to know they're being paid the right amount and they're being treated well."
Pia says she has always been interested in fashion but it took foot surgery and a university assignment to set her on the road to fashion fame.
"I studied graphic design and for my last assignment we had to design textiles. I just loved it. I only made three dresses but I found it a lot more interesting to design for clothes and I loved having a 3D result you can wear at the end of it," she says.
"I had a lot of downtime after I had foot surgery back in February and I'm the sort of person who always needs to be doing something. That's when I really started getting in to this."
Pia says she finds inspiration everywhere for her bold digital prints and she is keen to get her work out there and noticed.
"My whole idea is the graphic design element in textile prints," she says. "I'm working on my summer collection at the moment and it's going to be very bright with big floral patterns. I try to make every piece different but to have it all relate and at the moment I'm trying to get my work out there."
The fledgling fashion label is growing fast and Pia is certain she's found her passion.
"This is definitely what I want to do and I would like to open my own boutique one day," she says.
"I'm taking it really seriously and I'm going to go hard at it. Having to have surgery on my foot was a blessing in disguise really because I would never have done this otherwise. I would have just gone out and got a job that I didn't really enjoy but with this I get to do something I'm truly passionate about."
Visit www.piaboutique.com for mroe information.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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