Nga Waiata: Who, what, wear

17:00, Jul 25 2012
Nga Waiata
ON TREND: Nga Waiata

Nga Waiata: Jewellery designers, artist

Nga Waiata buys her clothes six months ahead of each new season, which helps explain why the Napier jewellery designer and artist always looks so stylish. Nga Waiata has always been involved in fashion in some capacity and what she wears each day is a big part of her life.

"I always buy ahead because I go to New Zealand Fashion Week and do the winter buying for [the Napier store] Aroha & Friends and I see what's coming up."

But, of course, she likes to top up every now and then. Fashion is all about feeling good in well-cut garments. Zambesi takes pride of place in her wardrobe that boasts the brand's knits, skirts, dresses and coats. "I love Zambesi; it just fits me really well," she says.

Nga Waiata has been involved with fashion for as long as she can remember. She has worked in retail and production, and has designed her own clothes and bought for stores. "But it was never really fulfilling - there was always something lacking. That's why I tried every job in fashion."

She has since "found herself"' designing jewellery from crystals and recycled native timber.


Her rings have graced the fingers of actress Robyn Malcolm and New Zealand's Next Top Model judge Colin Mathura-Jeffree.

"It's really nice to see lots of people wearing my stuff."

Coming from a fashion background, she knew marketing was crucial, so she made sure she was in Fashion Quarterly before securing a stockist. Her brand is now well established and she sells all over the world. She also finds time to express her artistic talent through painting land and seascapes and designing piiata te reo Maori language lightboxes.

Personal style?

My style involves loads of beautifully cut, well-made clothes in the best fabrics. How clothes feel is very important to me. Also being allergic to hair dye means grey hair, so I need the best cut and treatments possible from ME Salon Ponsonby.

Earliest fashion memory?

Matching dresses my three sisters and I wore. My mother used to make our clothes when we were younger - I guess we looked kind of cute. I really loved rompers as well.

A man always looks good in ...

A Zambesi suit and shirt designed by Dayne Johnston.

Latest wardrobe addition?

Zambesi Blizzard knit top, Zambesi Sanction dress, Zambesi Blizzard coat,  Zambesi Fleeting skirt. Then there is the Kate Sylvester grey, wool boy pants and Helen Cherry red, silk bow shirt,  along with the vintage red gigi dress and vintage grey ankle boots both from Retro Room.

Worst fashion moment?

Oh, too many to list.  Had a few hits, too, though.

The Dominion Post