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News Archive

The new NZ Fashion Tech website launched mid August 2016. The page holds the news items prior to that date.

Prime Minister's Scholarship for Asia Announced!
  • Tuesday, June 21, 2016

The Prime Minister's Scholarships for Asia have been announced and for the 3rd year NZ Fashion Tech has been awarded scholarships for our Diploma students to travel to India for 6 weeks. Over the last 3 years we have had 44 students benefit from this Scholarship.

This year our students will be participating in cultural expeditions as well as visiting fabric and lace making mills and large clothing production facilities. They will see parts of the clothing industry that is not possible to see in NZ as it does not exist here.
Included in their itinerary is a fibre and yarn spinning lab, fabric manufacture, weaving mills, dying and printing practices, knitting facilities.... and more. In addition they will experience the culture of the country by visiting a palace, a yoga camp, a zoo plus much, much more.
Not to forget, they will be attending classes at Bannari Amman Institute of Technology to learn the tailoring component of their Diploma Programme and putting on a fashion show!
Congratulations to Fiona, Johanna, Jordan, Liam, Manisha, Rawi, Oliver, Saraiah and Yvette.
We will be following their journey so watch this space!

Shiyamaladevi from Bannari Amman Institute of Technology (BIT), India visits NZ Fashion Tech
  • Friday, June 10, 2016

On Wednesday and Thursday this week NZ Fashion Tech (NZFT) hosted Syiamaladevi who heads the fashion programmes at Bannari Amman Institute of Technology (BIT) in Coimbatore, Southern Institute, India.

In the last three years NZFT have sent 44 students to India on the Prime Ministers' Scholarships for Asia programme (PMSA). Syiamaladevi was introduced to this year's recipients* of the programme, met Christine Roberts from Education NZ (ENZ) who administers the PMSA, visited several of the industry in Auckland, held discussions on collaborative research projects between the two institutions, and met up again with some of the previous years' graduates who went to India. A very busy, but really exciting and productive time.
Last night we had a great catch up with graduates who had been to India on PMSA in 2014 and 2015. Several grads were able to attend and Shyiamaladevi loved seeing them. Those grads were:- Mercedes Gonzales, Samantha Williams, Erin Wellington, Sam Malloy, Abby Cribe, Tayier Suliya and Virginia Mann.

Also there were Prahba Govindasamy and Giles Brooker from Brooker Education, Susan Barter (Tutor), Carly Tolley (Tutor), Debra Denny (NZFT) and Val Marshall-Smith (NZFT). Great night was had by all and the stories and conversation was entertaining and fun. We must do more of this..

*This year's PMSA recipients to be announced - pictures to follow.

Nelson Tasman Careers Roadshow 2016
  • Tuesday, May 17, 2016

The Nelson Tasman Careers Roadshow 2016 is this week and we are pleased to be a part of it.
Today we were based at Waimea College and were visited by students from Waimea College, Tapawera Area School, Te Kura Correspondence School and Motueka High school.
There was a constant stream of year 11/12 & 13 students and lots of conversation about fashion. The students are also keen to follow us on Facebook and Instagram (@nz_fashion_tech) and see what exciting things our students are up to.
Thanks to Waimea College for being such great hosts!
We'll be at Nelson College for Girls tomorrow and will see students from Nelson College for Girls, Nelson College, Rai Valley Area School and Young Parents Home School.
And Thursday rounds off the Roadshow at Nayland College where students from Nayland College, Garin College, Golden Bay High School and Collingwood Area School will visit.
Phew! a full on, exciting week!

NZ Fashion Tech Graduates to show at NZ Fashion Week!
  • Friday, May 13, 2016

Guess What? NZ Fashion Tech has three graduates this year showing at the new 'Emerging Talent' show at NZFW in August.

7 collections were presented and 3 collections were chosen by Dame Pieter Stewart from NZFW and Val Marshall-Smith from NZ Fashion Tech.

Those chosen were Samuel Malloy, Jerome Taylor, and Emily Chin and Caitlin Bartholomeusz.

Here's the stunned but delighted winners. What an amazing opportunity

Team 'Lemon Juice, Plum Yuck!'
Students get involved and a Fashion Detective Event in Auckland
  • Friday, May 6, 2016

The tutors at our Auckland City campus all collaborated this week to put on a Fashion Detective Event that involved students across all classes and levels. Here's what Certificate in Pattern Making tutor, Christina Doherty, had to say about the day...

Students got some great shots and embraced the challenge wholeheartedly, they over performed in every way.

They invested in the mixed teams. They all spontaneously created a team name. They took the research seriously, were brave and reached out to shop assistants and members of the public alike.

They had fun!

They all came home on time and delivered some very professional presentations that were informative, charming and funny. We had 50 plus eyes and ears out there blitzing the clothing stores in the city and came back with some great information. They dealt with some push back from less co-operative store people in a sensible way and didn't let it get them down. All of them got exposed to things they had never seen or experienced before. The only complaint we've heard is of tired legs and sore feet - evidence of working hard.

They were animated, excited and telling other students that missed it what a shame it was they weren't there. They want to know who won. They are all over it.

As tutors we couldn't be more delighted - they learnt so much, so well, in 4 hours covering so many aspects of successful working life.

Khrishae goes to ID Dunedin Fashion Week!
  • Monday, April 18, 2016

Graduate Khrishae won top prize at the Resene NZ Fashion Tech Colours of Fashion 2015 competition last year - a trip to see two shows at ID Dunedin Fashion Week. Here's her thoughts....

The first show which was the Emerging Designers Awards was held at the historic Dunedin Town Hall. It was a spectacular venue and show .......they had a live band playing throughout which really made the show more dramatic.
There were 38 ranges and they all had something distinct about them. Some went in an arty direction while others went more commercial. They used alot of different textiles and techniques which made their garments really interesting. The winners were all very deserving.
The second night show was a showcase of NZ labels who are already established ......well known labels such as Huffer, Company of Strangers, Zambesi, Kate Sylvester and Nom'D to name a few, as well as some not-so-well-known labels (well not known to me anyway) like New Lands, Mild-Red, Deval and Steve Hall plus many more.
The venue was at the iconic Dunedin Railway which was a very unique experience. The show was outdoors by the tracks and they used the carriages as seating booths and they had the longest runway I had ever seen!
After the NZ labels showcased they had a special show with the Air NZ uniforms from over time. It was cool because they used actual Air NZ staff to model and they were really good. It was nice to see how alot had changed over the years like the style, colour and materials used for their uniforms. It was a great way to end.
It was the first time we had both been to Dunedin but I don't think it would be the last. It was an awesome trip and we would definitely go back!
Going to the shows really broadened my knowledge of the NZ fashion industry and I will try to interpret what I have seen in my latest fashion adventure which is a competition to be in this years NZFW....another AMAZING opportunity NZFT have given us which is exciting as I really enjoyed the Resene challenge and am very grateful. I am trying to start up a label myself so this trip was definitely beneficial for me.
I really appreciate it and thanks again!
All the best

Another Important Link To Asia
  • Monday, April 11, 2016

Today NZ Fashion Tech signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the prestigious 'Arva School of Fashion', in Surabaya Indonesia.
This is so that we can develop study opportunities for students and personnel from both institutions as well as collaborate on mutual projects and development of programmes.
Val Marshall-Smith, Academic Director, signed for NZ Fashion Tech with Giles Brooker, Chairman of Giles Brooker Group witnessing the signature.

Cocktails, Canapes and Conversation!
  • Friday, April 1, 2016

Last night several of the big players in the apparel and fashion industry attended a cocktail evening at our Head Office in Symonds St, Auckland.
What fun! The cocktails and canapes were great and the conversations were awesome!
We know our Grads are sought after and get great jobs, so last night we were looking for feedback on what we are doing well in getting our students 'work ready' and what gaps the Industry feels there are for them. Then we looked to the future... what could we be doing??? We got loads of great ideas and positive contributions - plus we loved hearing news about the Grads we have who are out in the Industry!

Thanks to all who came. We'll do this again later in the year.

NZ Fashion Museum
Charles Parsons
The Warehouse
Pumpkin Patch
Brooker Group
Volapuk Design
Fashion Personnel
Network Clothing
Apparel HR

Heretaunga College has new Texlite class!
  • Thursday, March 31, 2016

Heretaunga College now has a textiles class!
Last year, Food and Textiles teacher Sam Davey started the class with a few students - interest has grown steadily and this year
the class has over 20 students.
We had the pleasure of visiting the class yesterday and chatting to the students about NZ Fashion Tech and the programmes that we offer.
The class are keen to come and visit the Wellington campus next term!
Thanks Heretaunga College for the warm reception

Kevin Smith passes away
  • Thursday, March 3, 2016

NZ Fashion Tech has incredibly sad news.

Founder, Kevin Smith, passed away on 1 March with his family enveloping him in love.

For those who were privileged to know him, he was a leading light in the fashion industry for over 35 years and was instrumental in his unwavering advocacy for the Private Tertiary Education sector. He paved the way for so many who have reaped the rewards and enjoy success today through his accomplishments.

He was the most 'human' of human beings and always championed those around him. He was passionate about everything in life; from family to fashion, art to adventure; never passing up opportunities to learn, love and laugh.

He continued to be courageous and inspiring throughout the past year and we can all take one more life lesson from him - never give up...

He leaves a void in the NZ Fashion Tech family and wider fashion industry and we will all miss him dearly.

Val Marshall-Smith and the NZ Fashion Tech Team

  • Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Classes of 2015 have graduated.

It was so lovely to see students across all three programmers graduating and to have their family and friends watching the events held in Auckland and Wellington.

Congratulations to all our wonderful students.

Certificate in Fashion Technology - Auckland
Certificate in Fashion Technology - Manukau
Certificate in Fashion Technology - Wellington

Certificate in Pattern Design - Auckland
Certificate in Pattern Design - Manukau
Certificate in Pattern Design - Wellington

Diploma in Fashion Technology - Auckland
Diploma in Fashion Technology - Wellington

Class of 2016 start!
  • Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Meet our new students! We have all new faces for our foundations programme - Certificate in Fashion Technology, and we welcome back students who have moved up into the higher level programmes - Certificate in Pattern Design and Diploma in Fashion Technology.

India Blogs - Surayya and Isaac
  • Thursday, December 17, 2015

From Surayya
Watching famous Bolliwood movies with friends was one of my favourite casual activities. Now I know I have been in love with the colourful Indian culture,amazing traditional music and dances since when I was very young . However I have never thought I would come to India. I am really happy that I got the opportunity to actually visit this spiritual place.

On 14th of November 2015 we arrived at the Bannari Amman Institution of Technology located in the state Tamil Nadu . We learnt that Tamil Nadu is the second largest state economy in India. Its official language is Tamil,which is known as one of the longest surviving classical languages in the world. We were greeted by friendly and welcoming people of the Institute and received a lovely rose when we arrived ate the guest house .

BIT's campus provides the environment for natural learning .The spacious and the earth hugging buildings punctuated with landscaped courtyards has the character of an excellent centre for learning. The campus has computer centres, lecture halls libraries, laboratories, conference halls, staff quarters, hostel and students' centres. BIT campus is beautiful and colourful. There are amazing paintings everywhere even the floor of learning block. Students, teachers and campus workers are friendly and welcoming . One of our lovely friend from Wellington campus had a wonderful Birthday party (thanks for Shiyamala and the teacher's team).

First week we visited few spinning mills fabric waving and dying mills.This trip gave us the clear vision of we have learnt at school and extend our knowledge of yarn production and fabric manufacturing . We also got to see the Bannari Amman which is a house of the lady god Bannati Amman. A sacred place of local people where old and young ,men and women,poor and rich are equal. They pray for same god.

Second week was more exciting, we went to a clothing manufacture factory . They were making the brand Tommy Hilfiger . Here we got to see the whole T-shirt making process including embroidery .Then we went to few printing, dying, knotting factories . After these amazing visits, we went back to school and had a class in the testing lab where we learnt about fabric quality testing for strength, flexural rigidly, crease recovery, pilling resistance and air permeability. Then we had a class on dying fabrics were we learnt about different dyes and how to use different techniques. Then we had dinner with the chairman of BIT and a presentation about the environment in India. People talked about the environmental problems including saving wildlife , saving water resources,afforesting and they show us the solutions they have been working on.

Next day all of us attend the tree planting ceremony and planted trees around the campus.During the time we didn't talk much, but we work together,helped each other . Planting few young trees made me feel like getting closer to the nature and local people.
On Saturday night we took a 4 hour drive to the temple of consciousness in Aliyar .It is a well-known yoga centre. People here are living a very simple life but they all very happy and thankful. You can see a lovely smile with the light from people's faces.
We learnt the introduction of spiritual science , spiritual philosophy. We also learnt few different yoga and meditation techniques.This trip gave me a different experience. Here we one again learnt the importance of positive energy, self control and being nice to one and other.

From Isaac
I have never done any travel other than to Australia when I was younger and so had absolutely no idea what to expect. The fact that I didn't do any research into it probably wasn't the best idea either. I found that as soon as I got to India the climate was gonna be hard to get used to but it turned out much easier than I thought. Also the food was very hard to get used to, being a big meat eater back home. We have experienced heaps of amazing stuff since being here, everybody here makes us feel famous. There must be hundreds of photos of us floating round India now. The factory visits were extremely eye opening also, to see how it is done with equipment not available in nz.
Our Indian mother Shiyamala has been amazing , she's one of the loveliest people I've met. ts a shame its coming to an end.

Abigail, Sumner and Lani continue the blogs
  • Wednesday, December 16, 2015

From Abigail


The day before we left to India, I had to mentally prepared myself.The travelling took longer than I had expected, it definitely took a toll on our energy from the 12 hrs trip to Kuala Lumpur Malaysia, 2 hrs stop over, 4 hrs flight to Chennai Airport and then finally a 7 hrs trip to our destination. When we arrived In india i was too tired to enjoy the scenery .But even from all the exhaustion I could still hear all the commotion. Cows and goats crossing the main road like humans, and some chilling on the side of the road like there is no cars driving past. Non stop beeping to let the other drivers know to move out of the way. I felt like the road runner getting chase by the Coyote. Knowing all of that just in couple of hours it makes you wonder what else India has install for you.

After the 7 hour bus ride we finally arrived at BIT was more exciting than I had expected, the guest house was amazing, the campus it self was huge. The people, students and staffs around are very welcoming. Everything around is so vibrant the houses, temples, the god's colour and especially the beautiful sarees.

Being here is definitely not a dull moment, little small things can always put a smile on your face. People around here are very open, helpful to anything, care free and also hard workers. But the food and the spices wow! Do not get me started with it, I thought I could handle the spiciness in New Zealand but this is more than extra hot.

All the long hour trips we've had were amazing, tired or not we got to get the show on the road. Our driver was so cool he could definitely pass as our body guard. Most of the places we've visited have been educational and gave us an insight of the fashion industry as well as a cultural look at the india.

Overall it has been an amazing experience and once in a life time opportunity i will never forget.

I also like to thank everyone who have been patient enough to look after us this whole trip. It wouldn't be as memorable as it is without any of them.


From Lani
This 5 week trip to India has definitely been an eye-opening cultural experience that i won't forget.
Since being here I have got to see a part of the world I didn't really think I ever would.
I've experienced things that make me feel more creative and have learnt things that will make me a better person.
The first boundary I had to conquer was their food. I personally don't deal well with spice but after some perseverance I am really enjoying it.
From the first day everyone here at BIT has been very friendly and welcoming.
The trip to Ooty was a cold one but definitely worth it with the scenery. A view from the top of a mountain was amazing. Our trip to Mysore was cool too. On our way we stopped and got shown how the silk is taken from the cocoon of a silk moth. Whilst in Mysore we also saw two temples, visited a zoo and went to a palace. I rode an elephant for the first time.
The industry experiences have also been very helpful in physically showing me how the silk and cotton is manufactured into fabric.
I definitely learnt a lot while i was here and it will be something i will be grateful for the rest of my life. A trip back in the future is definitely a must!

From Sumner

Hey there!

The past few days have been amazing here in India,..... Still don't truly believe I'm actually here.

We took a two day trip to Mysore (about a 4 hour bus ride). We stopped in at a silk factory and were able to see how the silk is extracted from the silk worms' cocoon. Apparently the boiled worms are made into dog biscuits so there actually isn't a lot of waste. The owner gave each of us a strand of pure silk to take home.

We also visited a temple and got to see an Indian elephant for the first time on the whole trip! The owner only used it as a money making thing which was quite depressing & he also held two battens with very sharp hooks on the end.

We stayed in a nice hotel and then got up in the morning to visit Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens (the zoo). I've never seen leopards so close before! A metre away from me, ...... such beautiful cats. We also saw black bears, African & Indian elephants, hyenas, snakes, lions, white peacocks, toucans, cheetahs, giraffes, monkeys ....... the list goes on. We felt like one of the attractions too, with all the school kids staring at us instead of the animals.

Next we went to The Mysore Palace, the most beautiful man-made place I have ever seen. The building was indi-colonial with huge golden pillars, stained-glass windows and tigers carved out of stone. We were given headsets which taught us about the palace as we walked through.

Next Austin and I rode a camel, something I've ever done before. It was so, so tall !

Having so much fun here and learning many new things. With only one week left, time is diminishing quickly.


New Blogs from India - Caity B, Melissa and Samuel.
  • Monday, December 14, 2015

From Caity
From the lush sights and colours, to the cultural and spiritual wealth. India has been a truly whimsical experience for the senses and had already made a moving impression on me, the moment I had arrived.

The fact that we were in for a major culture shock began as soon as we hopped off our plane in Chennai. We had a long bus journey to our destination in Sathyamangalam in which we took in all the beauty, colour and scenery India has to offer.

As soon as we arrived at our destination, Prabha and the BIT staff made us feel completely at home and has given the most overwhelmingly attentive hospitality I have experienced - they have made us feel like royalty here.

In India, there is always something to look at. Basking in the foreign surroundings in real life has been surreal to witness. The colour of the landscapes, buildings and the clothing are a truly uplifting vision.

A highlight was travelling to Ooty, there was so much greenery, it made me feel at home. To differ from home, amongst the greenery were beautifully bright houses built on the hills. The views were enticing.

To my surprise that wasn't the most beautiful thing I had seen in India. My experience at Mysore Palace was one I will never forget. The entire building was a work of art and I was in complete awe of my surroundings.

To juxtapose the beautiful sights we have seen, pollution, poverty and the crazy driving is something we weren't use to and has definitely made an eye opening impression on how other people live their lives in comparison to a western society. The community in India all support each other as one and show so much resilience under these circumstances. Being able to see this first hand has allowed a lot of self-reflection and has been both humbling and liberating.

The lessons didn't stop there, academically we have learnt so much, in and out of the classroom. Over the past 5 weeks we have had the opportunity to visit many textile production factories. After studying the prospect of these production lines over the past three years at NZFT, being able to experience the facilities first hand has been amazing.

We've also had many classes from BIT tutors and students, ranging from textile production theory, to hands on work such as coffee painting, traditional jewellery making and embroidery techniques. These lessons have proven that creativity has no boundaries. We are looking forward to sharing our creativity with BIT when we display our clothing to them at the fashion show.

I couldn't be more grateful for all the organisers, staff and students at BIT and the factory workers, who have welcomed us with open arms, being both friendly and extremely hospitable. Shyiamala has taken amazing care of us and catered to all our wishes and best interests'. I am so thrilled to have met her and every person involved has made it the experience of a lifetime that I will never forget. It's safe to say this will not be my last visit to India!

From Melissa
On the Sunday after we arrived in India we went to the Bannari Amman temple it is such a beautiful place and it was amazing with all the bright colours and statues everywhere. The next day we had a tour of the campus i also got to see my first snake and hold one witch was so cool. On Tuesday we had our first classes on spinning fibers into yarn which was interesting as we had only looked at the basics previously. Then on Wednesday some of us visited a spinning mill while the others went to be verified by immigration the next day we swapped around. On Friday we went to a weaving factory where they make the fabrics i loved seeing the process of the fabrics coming together. Saturday we saw where they were doing embroidery this was probably my favorite thing so far because i was fascinated by the way that the pictures were coming to life on the fabric. We also went to a printing factory where we saw screen printing and where they print bulk patterns on fabrics using rollers. I have had quite a few culture shocks here but I am loving every bit of my stay here all the people are lovely and have made us feel welcome,

From Samuel
I have never been outside of New Zealand my first time going overseas was going to India. After the long flight and leaving the Chennai airport I automatically realized a culture change from the way people interact with us to our new surroundings,they told us that it has been raining for ten days causing flooding through Chennai you could see the suffering people had been going through just by driving past the city making me feel sorry and grateful for the little things back in New Zealand we take for granted. Coming to BIT- Training Academy has been amazing the staff have been so welcoming to us and helping us understand the culture in India also the students have been so friendly with getting to know us and our way of living in New Zealand. We been to visiting knitting factories which doing dying and bleaching of knit fabrics using a soft flow machine with capacities ranging from 100 to 900kgs, we even visited a knit factory that specializes with printing on knit fabrics..

Khrishae, Nia and Grace C blog about their first week in India.
  • Sunday, November 29, 2015

From Khrishae:
Arriving into India I didn't know what to expect, but as we descended into Chennai Airport, it finally hit me that I was in India!
As we got off the plane, the humidity was overwhelming felt like I was in a sauna.
When we went outside, it was almost like we were famous as all eyes were on us ......and still are to this day which is a surreal feeling but I am kind of getting used to it now :)
The 7 hour bus ride to Bannari Amman Institute of Technology was an experience I will never forget as it was our first time seeing the real India. There were people, vehicles and animals everywhere. Cows were in the middle of the road which is normal here and everyone looked so busy and in a rush like they were all on missions.
I also saw that some people still live the traditional way like living in huts, hand washing clothes in the rivers and using bulls and carts as a mode of transportation which I really admire as we never see that back home which is a shame. I wish we still had that but traditional living is non-existent anymore with the technology and everything there is these days ......if it does exist in NZ, it is very rare.
Although the bus drive to B.I.T was long it was totally worth it as the guest house is aaamazing and the staff are so nice and welcoming and the food is delicious.
We visited the Bannari Amman Temple the next day and it is so beautiful, I felt privileged to be there as it seems like a very sacred and spiritual place.
The next days we had orientation around the Institute and got introduced to the principal and teachers and met some of the students and even got to do the Lungi dance with them which was cool.
I really enjoyed seeing the snakes and scorpion ....that was the first time I had ever seen them in real life and may be the one and only chance I'd get so I'm soo glad I got to experience that.
We have been on a few industry visits .....spinning and weaving mills, garment factory, knitting, processing and dying and printing mills. Visiting all these places has really put things into perspective and I now have a better understanding of the whole process from fibre to yarn, yarn to fabric and fabric to garment.
Overall I have really enjoyed my stay thus far, it has been both fun but educational at the same time and has been an eye-opening experience.
I think I have a lot more to learn and look forward to that and the rest of my stay here.
I have so much respect and love for India and it's people has been an honour being here and I am glad I got this opportunity.
Thank you B.I.T and India for having us and making us feel at home in your beautiful country :)

From Nia:
Arriving into chennai airport and wow! After 24 hours of flying and just a 7 hour bus ride to Bannari Amman Institute of Technology. During the 7 hour bus ride I loved seeing all the vibrant colours of the sarees, multiple temples and having my first vegetarian dish with a hint of spice (which I had enjoyed) Arriving at our accommodation at the institute guest house was a sigh of relief. All the hard travelling had all come to an end and I could finally start experiencing India.

First day we had brief tour of Bannari Amman institute. It is a huge institute and had made me excited and ready to learn. Breakfast I had a coffee, fruit, toast, rice and a curry gravy. Not my usual for breakfast but I am open to experiencing whatever India has to offer. First thing was first, sorting out our immigration papers. We had a brief tour of the campus and I had been overwhelmed at how big it is. One of the things that had been included in the tour had been visiting the fabric testing lab where they test venomous snakes and scorpions on fabrics. I had throughly enjoyed this because it had two things that I loved which were animals and textiles.

One of the first days we had set off to the bannari temple. Wow!!! My first time to a temple and was amazing!!! I enjoyed learning about the different gods, vibrant colours and receiving my first bindhi. I loved seeing how religion is important to India! The faith in their gods and how it brings everyone together. Going inside the temple was beautiful. We weren't allowed to take photos but the experience was overwhelming. Seeing people pray to their God, the golden monuments etc.

Next few days we had visited textile mills to gain understanding for the processes of cotton to yarn. Seeing the process of cotton fibres to yarn was interesting. In New Zealand we only saw manufacturing units online and on YouTube due to us having close to no manufacturing units at home. So to put what we had learnt at home into perspective was really interesting to see the process take place. Prior to the visit we had an in depth lecture at the Bannari Amman of technology on the process which helped me cemented and helped my understanding. We also had visited knit textile mills and learnt about the processes of dyeing fabric/ yarn, the production lines, the prep for dyeing, embroidery and as well seeing the conditions that the employee was working under. It was good to see that during these processes that quality checking thoroughly was taken very seriously from the beginning at the cotton mills to when it gets died. Embroidery and printing mills were amazing. The preparation to make sure colours match what the buyer/ client requests and the embroidery machines and being able to manipulate what you want the machine to do is very handy and time efficient if you need to make set of a bulk garment to be done during a certain time frame.

During these visits we had delicious food stops and my vegetarian diet has catapulted. I have enjoyed the authenticity of the food and my favourite soo far has to be the coconut chutney & rice that is served on campus. My stay so far has been amazing & I have loved how the people working here at the guest house and on the scholarship program has made our stay as comfortable as possible.

From Grace C:
When we first landed in Chennai, I can remember leaving the plane and feeling the strong heat. I didn't know what to expect as we were leaving the airport. outside, it was so crowded and humid, we were all exhausted from the long flights. We were waiting for our bus to take us to Sathyamangalam. As I looked around the colours surrounding were incredibly beautiful It almost made me forget how tired I was but still the fact that we are in India seems so unreal until we got on our bus and there was more colours! Colours everywhere! It was just so pretty, the contrasting of Sarees worked perfectly. We saw animals untamed yet relaxed, we saw goats, cows and dogs on the side of the road and that moment I slowly came to realise that I am in India.
Few hours later, we stopped for lunch and that was one of the highlights of our first day, tasting our very first authentic Indian dish. It was so delicious and satisfying

At 9pm Saturday on the 15th we arrived at Bannari Amman University which will be our home for the next 5 weeks. We were welcomed with smiles and roses. They made us feel so welcome, they made sure we were comfortable. They provided us with sim cards on the spot so we could contact and inform our family that we've landed safely. They didn't hold us up very long as they know we were all very exhausted from the long flights and bus ride and they also made sure we didn't go to bed hungry so they prepared a wide variety of delicious food for dinner, the kitchen staff were all so lovely considering they had to stay up a little later just to prepare dinner for 20 students.

First couple of days we had to fill some immigration form to confirm we had arrived in India.

3rd day in we all went to visit a temple about an hour drive away from Sathyamangalam. The pastels colours and art was so beautiful. You can tell by looking around that this is part of their culture and they hold strongly to it with respect. We walked around the temple and took some photos and we had our very first tilaka . That was quite a new experience for all students specially for me as I have been brought up by Roman Catholic parents.

As days passed, travelling from one place to another. I've come to realise that Indian women presents beauty and modesty wrapped in one with their vibrant colour Sarees, beautiful skin tone and long dark hair.

The first Wednesday was the day we had our first apparel and textiles lecture in the morning and after that we had our tour around the 200 acres campus containing 6,000 students and 80% lives in the campus supplies with meals, they had 4 separate cafeterias that holds few thousands of students. It's almost as if the campus is a small village!

Back to the first apparel and textiles lecture - it was very into detail, which was slightly confusing at first but once we started visiting factories and industries it all starting to make so much more sense. It gets interesting as we were visiting more factories. The process the cotton fibre goes through from combing - strength test - dying test. It requires so much time, care and precision. The information and knowledge was overwhelming. What blew me away was the sizes of factories here, it's nothing like I've seen or even imagine. I feel like unless you get to see the process of how a single fibre turn into a fabric you will never appreciate the beauty of making a garment.
Science and chemistry together created one of human necessities.

This is the part where I remember one of our tutors (Miriam Gibson) used to say "this is only the tip of the ice berg" whilst teaching us pattern designs.

Even though we've only covered 11 days of the 5 weeks learning apparel and textiles I feel like I've learnt so much already and I already have so many highlights of this trip within 11 days of experience. Two of the many few was when the junior fashion students welcome us and made us do the Lungi dance and few faculty staff and in house staff surprise me with a cake on my birthday, they sure made my week. I am still looking forward to learn more knowledge in this part of the industry and of course taste more of local delicious dish and explore the culture of beautiful India.

Angela S, Samantha and Austin blog about their experience so far in India.
  • Saturday, November 28, 2015

From Angela:
My experience since being in India has been amazing. I especially enjoyed the spinning class and learning the process of turning fibre into yarn. This has given me the opportunity to see what I have been taught in classes back in New Zealand to see it all take place in front of me. In the future I want to have my own design label.
My first day in India was overwhelming and exciting. We had finally arrived to Bannari Amman Institute of Technology after a 24h journey to get here. After a night to feel refreshed the next day we had breakfast and went for a walk about around the campus. We went to a temple later that day. I saw all the bright colours that made the temple. It was cool to see all the work that went in to every detail in every part of the temple. I enjoy how everyone gathered together no matter where they came from.
The next day I had a welcome from Bannari Amman Institute of Technology. This will be my home for the next 35 days. There is so many things to see at this school. I look forward to how they will show how yarn is to fabric is really made not just text alone. Being able to see companies make cotton from fibre to yarn. The yarn being woven in to fabric. Some kind of yarns is being knitted and dyed to different colours. The fabric can also be printed and made in to clothes you wear now. I have enjoyed my time in India so far and I can't wait to see what else I will be learning. Thank you to all those companies that let us visit so far I hope to see more.

From Samantha:
Before arriving to India I was unsure what to expect, but since arriving I have come to find it is both a beautiful and colourful country. In the first week we have experienced so much, on the first day we were to introduced to faculty members and were taken to the Bannari Amman temple. The details and colours were unlike anything I had seen. It was filled with people, who clearly care and worship there culture and religion.

On the second day we were showed around our new home and campus. BIT is a town in itself catering to over 5,000 students, we mainly focused on the textile classrooms where each one was almost like a mini factory, each one focuses on a different area of textile manufacturing including spinning, weaving, dying, knitting etc. They showed us to the bio lab where we were able to get up close and personal with a Cobra and scorpion, which was a first for many of us. Throughout the week we have been taken to different industries in which specialise in the different manufacturing processes, in NZ we don't have many manufacturing and processing plants as we mainly import overseas. It has been most interesting seeing all the different types of machinery and the process on how they get from one product to the other. For instance cotton plant to yarn, yarn to fabric, fabric to garment.

The food has been another big cultural shock adjusting our tastes to the high spice levels of Indian cuisine, but so far it has been an amazing experience and I can't wait for the other weeks to come.

From Austin:
Hopping off the plane and exiting the doors of the airport was like walking into a warm wave. It was stifling at first, compared to my usual wild, windy and cold climate of Wellington City. Color flooded my eyes and I looked around at my new environment for the next 5 weeks, my new home.

On arriving at the Bannari Amman institute of Technology, I'm not sure the group expected much for our accommodation, only to find a near 5 star style house with marble floors, rich wooden panels and pearly white smiles from all we met.

I never could have imagined the sheer size of the Campus and the facilities which it held. Having a full Cotton processing unit right down to weaving and knitting looms.

On our many factory visits so far, we have seen machines and workplaces you cannot see in New Zealand. The huge quantities of materials and workers in each of these factories is overwhelming, but as we learnt essential as each works like a finely-tuned cog in the grand machine of producing quality garments. I was really impressed to see the terrific conditions of the factories we visited, each worked looked happy and had access to many committees to ensure they had sufficient working conditions.

It has been such an amazing experience to be able to see these work places in the flesh.

Some students with local people
Angela H, Grace K and Emily start us off with blogs of their first impressions of India
  • Friday, November 27, 2015

From Angela H:
Welcome to India. This is how I feel about my stay here in India and at the Bannari Amman Institute of Technology. It's been a very enlightening experience. India is very beautiful and colorful. It awakens deep feelings of inspiration. And the people, even though they have little, are kind to share and friendly and very welcoming.
The knowledge we're gaining from our trips to the different companies is priceless. We're getting information and a greater understanding about production processes and how things work in the fashion industry. Specifically in production and exports. We have only seen these processes on computers and TV or to a smaller extent in New Zealand production companies, but most of those are quite a bit smaller in size. So this was a whole other level of information and we're grateful to be able to learn so much about what is really happening in the world of fashion production.
We are also very, very grateful for the Bannari Amman hospitality. They have been making us feel at home from day one. This is the most welcoming and courteous country I have ever visited. I'm grateful that Bannari Amman and NZ Fashion Tech in cooperation with the Prime Minister's Scholarship grant have made this once in a lifetime opportunity possible for us lucky 20 Students. Thank you very much!

From Grace K:
This first week in India has been so overwhelming and surreal. It definitely took a couple of days for the reality of it all to actually sink in! It's such a beautiful country - and driving for 7 hours on the bus from Chennai as soon as we had landed to where we are staying at BIT in Sathyamangalam, highlighted this beauty. Even though we were all tired, the noise, the crowds, the bright colours and the landscape were so incredible and so much to take in!
I feel as though we have become somewhat integrated into the culture here. We have been made to feel so welcome and the BIT staff have been so lovely, going out of their way for us and making us feel at home. We were welcomed by the second year fashion students with red Tilaka and cultural dancing!
Where we are staying is so nice, surrounded by coconut trees and palms and the BIT campus is huge. It's like a small town with everything you need including a book shop and a canteen! All of the students have been so friendly and we have already made connections with people.
The biggest challenge has been coming to terms with the hardship of what is some people's lives, which is so incomprehensible unless you come face to face with this reality. The brightness of the people and the surroundings despite this is clear and everyone is so friendly, smiling and waving to us on the streets!
We have already done so much! On the second day here we visited the Bannari Amman Temple which was such an amazing experience, so bright and colourful. To be able to witness such a powerful form of worship and sacrifice and to also take part in that and to learn about it was incredible.
We have already visited a cotton spinning mill, embroidery and manufacturing mill and the scale of these factories is just insane! It is so obvious that textiles are vitally important in this region. The colours, the prints and the intricacy of the detail of the saris we see the women wearing on a daily basis is so beautiful and unlike anything I have ever seen before. We have so much to learn about textiles and apparel here and have already learnt so much!
Overall, it has so far been an incredibly breath-taking experience (it has been a full-on week!). I am in love with the food; the chefs have been amazing and have increased the spice levels after a few days but it is all so delicious. Words can't do justice to the beauty and experiences we have witnessed!

From Emily:
Being someone who hasn't travelled or seen a highly cultured country at all, India has been a tremendous experience for the week we have been here so far.
I have had a very sheltered life being born and England and moving to New Zealand at a young age, the biggest thing I ever had to worry about whilst growing up was getting homework handed in on the due date.
Seeing the diversity in class in India has been eye opening, it's not quite so dramatic in New Zealand.

Our first night arriving at BIT Sathy was so warm and welcoming even after a long plane and bus ride. Arms were wide open, our accommodation was so modern and majority of the people spoke English. The fact I was in India didn't quite sink in yet.

Over the past week we have experienced a lot inside and outside the BIT campus.

Being here to focus on Fashion we have learnt a lot already in the first week. Visiting smaller and larger factories that contain a lot of machinery we don't own in New Zealand, makes it an outstanding opportunity for us to be able to observe so much.
Our minds can expand with so many more ideas and designs to bring back to NZ now seeing what India has to offer in textiles.

The food, wow the food, having curry for breakfast lunch and dinner is something you wouldn't even dream about in New Zealand.
It's has been absolutely divine, a part of the reason I feel so apart of the Indian culture.
Nandri to the BIT cooks.

The BIT faculty members have been super helpful, kind, caring and friendly. Things have been running very smoothly because of them. I was expecting a huge communication barrier between us students and the staff but everyone is taking things slowly and getting slowly getting use to our cultural differences.
We have got a lot done in the first week we have been have been here all because everyone has been working together.

Finally the community outside the campus has been very eye opening, there is so much diversity in people. The people who smile so brightly because they see new people visiting their home town and the people who are unsure on whether to smile because our lives must seem so different to theirs.
It's a big world out there and I'm slowly learning, I will take a lot of emotions back home with me and am thankful for a lot of the things I have.

One thing I will always remember from this trip was going to a restaurant, after finishing our meals a little old lady came to clear our plates away she looked so fragile, I couldn't tell what she was thinking she almost looked grumpy so I was afraid to say 'thank you to her', but I said it anyway and when I did her face lit up and her smile was as big as ever, she became a different person, so beautiful. To see someone smile that big from just two words says a lot about the people here.

I'm looking forward to the next month I have left here in India I can't wait to experience many more things about the culture, and fashion industry.
We are very lucky to have this amazing once in a life time experience we have been given and I can't thank the people that have made this happen enough.


Wellington Host Their Diploma Runway Show!
  • Thursday, November 12, 2015

We hosted our Wellington Diploma Runway Show last night - what an amazing event at the St James Theatre. The evening rounded off with 3 awards for some outstanding students.

Most Commercial Collection
Sponsored by Detonate Design Studios
Prize - A2 Canvas print of their Resene garment or a photo of their choice from the 2015 Runway Show

Awarded to: EMILY CHIN

Technical Excellence
Sponsored by Direct Sewing Machines & Supplies
Prize - $350 voucher for machine or equipment


All Round Excellence
Sponsored by Apparel Magazine
Prize - Editorial in Apparel magazine and a subscription to Apparel magazine


A special thanks to Sarah Mitchell and Apparel magazine as all the Diploma students will receive a subscription to Apparel magazine.

Congratulations to all our Graduating Diploma students.

Auckland Diploma Showcase Was Amazing!
  • Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Last night we hosted the Auckland Diploma Runway Show - it was a fabulous evening from beginning to end. The quality and attention to detail in the collections was stunning. The show closed with 5 fabulous awards.

Most Commercial Collection
Sponsored by Detonate Design Studios and presented by Steve Jurgens
Prize - A2 Canvas print of their Resene garment or a photo of their choice from the 2015 Runway Show


Consistent Improvement
Sponsored by Sewspec NZ Ltd and presented by Larry Coffrey
Prize - $200 Cash cheque


Emerging Talent
Sponsored by Apparel Magazine and presented by Sarah Mitchell
Prize - Editorial in Apparel magazine and a subscription to Apparel magazine

Awarded to: TONGIA MAORA

Technical Excellence
Sponsored by Direct Sewing Machines & Supplies and presented by Shay Narsey
Prize - A Direct drive automatic sewing machine


All Round Excellence
Sponsored by Fashion Quarterly and presented by Marcel Gull
Prize - 12 month Fashion Quarterly subscription and the opportunity to intern for the day at FQ HQ plus attend a fashion editorial shoot and experience what it's like to work on NZ's most read magazine.


A special thanks to Sarah and Apparel magazine as all the Diploma students will receive a subscription to Apparel magazine.

Congratulations to all our Graduating Diploma students!

Botany Downs Design Awards
  • Monday, October 26, 2015

Last week Val Marshall-Smith, Academic Director, presented the award to the overall winner at the Botany Downs Design Awards (BDA). The BDA's 2015 overall grand prize winner was Leanne Shen of St Kentigern College for her stunning red dress. Leanne also wins a $2000 scholarship at NZ Fashion Tech.
"There really is a lot of talent coming out of our schools and I look forward to having them study with us in the future" Val says.
Pictured are; Christine Sharma from Ruby, Val Marshall-Smith from NZ Fashion Tech, Paige Carlyon, 2014 BDA overall winner, NZ Fashion Tech scholarship winner and current student at NZ Fashion Tech, Leanne Shen, 2016 overall winner and NZ Fashion Tech scholarship winner, model, wearing Leanne's winning garment and Meegan Pollock, from Centrepoint Fabrics.

West Auckland Career Advisers Visit Fashion Tech
  • Saturday, October 24, 2015

We had the pleasure of hosting a fabulous group of West Auckland Career Advisers last week. 7 schools were represented - Green Bay High School, Michael Park School, The Correspondence School, Waitakere College, Mount Albert Grammar School, Rutherford College and Massey High School.
We spent time discussing our programmes and finding out what jobs our graduates go on to do in the fashion industry, followed by a tour of our city campus. The group seemed genuinely impressed with the level and quality of work achieved by our students - even at our foundation level. We had a very interesting and informative discussion about the viability of the fashion industry in New Zealand and the opportunities open to our graduates.
The group left enlightened and confident that NZ Fashion Tech is a great place to study!
Very enjoyable, thank you.

Walk the Line Scholarship Winner Enrols for 2016
  • Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Isaiah Stowers received a NZ Fashion Tech Scholarship when he won his category at the Walk the Line competition during NZ Fashion week 2015. He was welcomed by Val Marshall-Smith, Academic Director, yesterday as he enroled for the Certificate in Fashion Technology starting in 2016. Even office mascot, Shadow, came to say hello and got himself in the picture!
Isaiah told us that he was given a ticket to see the Walk the Line show the year before and was so inspired he bought himself a sewing machine and worked all year learning how to sew because he wanted to enter the competition this year. His hard work paid off as his garment was stunning and a resounding winner! We look forward to seeing what he will achieve with us next year.

Diploma Students lunch with Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi to learn about life in India
  • Monday, October 5, 2015

Academic Director, Val Marshall-Smith, invited twelve Auckland Diploma students to lunch with the National List MP Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi today. Kanwaljit is New Zealand's first Indian Sikh Member and has been following our students story closely. From the Resene NZ Fashion Tech Colour of Fashion 2016 project, to watching the finished garments walk the catwalk at NZ Fashion Week, to the announcement of the 20 Prime Minister's Scholarship for Asia 2016, awarded to NZ Fashion Tech. The students selected for the scholarship from our Auckland campus came to meet Kanwaljit and hear him give a little insight into what they might expect when they travel to India next month. The students eagerly listened to the similarities and differences between New Zealand life and Indian life and left uplifted and excited about their upcoming trip.

Walk the Line Supreme Winner Receives His Scholarship
  • Monday, October 5, 2015

Antoine Ogilvie not only won his category at the Walk the Line Competition recently but was also the Supreme Winner on the night. Academic Director, Val Marshall-Smith, presented his certificate to him and congratulated him on his amazing garments. His tutors are very proud of his achievements while still in his first year of study and we are all looking forward to Antoine continuing his studies with us next year.

Our Expo Season Closes with Otahuhu College
  • Tuesday, September 22, 2015

This year our expo season has stretched from March to September and closed yesterday at Otahuhu college in Auckland. . We've visited dozens and dozens of schools across the country including Nelson, Wellington, Tauranga, Hawkes Bay, Gisborne, New Plymouth, Whagarei and Auckland to name a few. We touched base with many of the local schools in Wellington and Auckland, where our campuses are, all of which has kept us super busy talking to prospective students who want to embark on a career in the fashion industry. We now start enrolling for our 2016 programmes and we look forward to meeting those students again.

Trash to Fashion Awards!
  • Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Sunday the 6th September was the culmination of a lot of students hard work when it all came together in the awards show for Trash 2 Fashion 2015, which was held at the Corbans Estate in Henderson.

Personally for me as a judge, it was amazing to see the students work all presented on the catwalk in a really professional way with choreography by the Red Leap Theatre Company. All the finalists in all the categories were fabulous but the ones that really stood out were:

The winner of the 'Dark Side of the Screen' Secondary school category:
The Woman in the Window designed by Bethany Foster and Katelyn Johnson from Selwyn College.
They also won our NZ Fashion Tech award for 'Emerging Fashion Designer of the Year' and both won a scholarship for $2000.00 each towards their study with us.

The winner of the 'Dark Side of the Screen' Intermediate school category:
What Hides in the Shadows designed by Luka Katavich from Northcross Intermediate School.
Luka's amazing entry also won the 2015 'Supreme Award'

Congratulations to both of them.
Val Marshall-Smith

Walk the Line Fashion Show
  • Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Walk the Line is a competition run by the YMCA and Raise Up that culminates in a runway show at NZ Fashion Week. Over 60 talented New Zealand youth entered the competition that was very professionally run by a team of young volunteers from the YMCA. There were some very sophisticated garments - not the least of which was one of our very own 1st year Auckland students - Antoine Ogilvie. Antoine not only took out the prize for his category (High Fashion) but he also won the Supreme Award! Antoine says he chose to enter the High Fashion category because he is commercially driven and feels high fashion is more influential. His inspiration comes from his love of watching Haute Couture videos - in particular Chanel and Calvin Klein. He loves the suit collars and high waisted trousers and decided to "balance the elegance of Chanel with the cold demeanor of Calvin Klein". On the night of the show he says he felt happy with the entire look including the hair and make-up and while there were a few entries where the calibre intimidated him, he felt his chances were good. Antoine is at the beginning of his career and this experience has confirmed to him that he is in the right place and going in the right direction. His forward thinking has enabled him to gain the publicity he wants to launch himself and his designs, even while he is studying.
The winner of the Open Section, Isaiah Stowers, took home the $2000 NZ Fashion Tech Scholarship for the white suit he made and modelled himself. We look forward to having him on board next year!

Paraparaumu College Fashion Students Visit Auckland
  • Sunday, August 30, 2015

The Fashion / Textiles students from Paraparaumu College started out at 4am on Friday for their exciting weekend in Auckland. First thing on the agenda once arriving in Auckland was to visit us - 25 visitors came all together for a tour of our city campus, including fashion / textiles teacher (and former NZ Fashion Tech tutor) Jane Bloxham plus the school's Deputy Principal and Career Adviser. They had a packed weekend booked, culminating in tickets to the Resene Designer Selection Show at NZ Fashion Week where they were thrilled to be seeing the Resene NZ Fashion Tech Colour of Fashion 2015 garments opening the show.

Resene Designer Selection Shows a hit at NZ Fashion Week!
  • Friday, August 28, 2015

The Resene NZ Fashion Tech Colour of Fashion 2015 Project really wows at NZ Fashion Week - opening all the Resene Designer Selection Shows. We are so proud of our students. Grab a ticket and see them live!

NZFT Fam: Annmarie Williams

NZ Fashion Tech Blog