Top fashion magazine features Kiwi's work

LAUREN HAYES
Last updated 05:00 11/10/2012
Jojo Ross
GOING GLOBAL: Former Southland fashion designer Jojo Ross, right, featured in the September issue of Vogue Italia, but only found out about the spread this month.

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Thousands of readers have seen the work of fashion designer Jojo Ross in Vogue during the past month but Ross was unaware she had featured in the magazine until earlier this week.

The former Southland designer was profiled in the September edition of Vogue Italia but did not realise she had appeared in the leading fashion publication until a month after it hit news-stands.

"[The edition] came out like a month ago but we didn't hear anything about it," she said.

Otago Polytechnic fashion academic leader Margo Barton submitted the work of 10 graduate fashion students, including Ross, to the magazine earlier in the year but nobody knew whether any had made the final print.

However, Miss Ross started getting suspicious when a mysterious email appeared in her inbox.

"It was in capital letters . . . from Italian Vogue and all it said was: do not reply to this email we are just checking it works . . . Then I had emails from models who were all like: hi, my name is blah blah and I'm based in Milan.

"I was like: what's going on?

"It's been quite random."

An Otago Polytechnic staff member managed to find a copy of Vogue while travelling in Europe and finally confirmed the good news - Ross's designs had made it into Vogue Italia. Ross still has not seen the magazine.

"I think Mum's ordered a copy, so hopefully I'll see it soon. It's kind of surreal, actually."

The magazine profile featured work from her graduate collection, futuristic designs based on the quantum string theory which she showed at ID Dunedin Fashion Week and the Hokonui Fashion Design Awards this year.

Now based in Auckland, Ross is preparing her portfolio in the hope of landing a job in the workroom of a big name label, such as Zambesi - something she admitted would be a little easier now she had Italian Vogue on her CV.

She eventually hoped to design stage costumes for theatrical music artists "but not Lady Gaga - she's boring".

"It'd be really good to be able to design for these sorts of people and have no limits on creativity or wearability," she said.

"You can't really do that in New Zealand fashion."

In the meantime, she was working to get her designs selected for the Australian Graduate Fashion Week next month.

As for her fashion advice to Southlanders, she said people in the region should dare to be different. "Just be happy to have your own style. Don't shy away from getting dressed in the morning."

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Southland designer Roxanna Zamani also featured in Vogue Italia in 2010.

- The Southland Times

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