Hiria Aorangi is a Māori Fashion Designer who specialises in contemporary Kākahu (Māori cloaks) and contemporary Korowai designs. In 2006 she graduated from Whitecliffe College, formerly the New Zealand Institue of Fashion Technology.
There, she specialised in garment construction and pattern making. 2018 saw Hiria reclaiming her Māori culture by learning traditional Korowai handweaving techniques with natural fibres from native plants of Aotearoa, New Zealand. Founder of Kids Korowai in 2019, she continues to unearth her own unique style for these bespoke legacy garments that are highly regarded, treasured and passed down from generation to generation
In September 2021 she debuted her six-look capsule collection, Mahara, in the British Vogue little wonders campaign. Each look is colour inspired by the Māori myths and legends passed down by her ancestors to help her connect the past, the present and the future in each kākahu (garment). Tangaroa, God of the Sea; Tāne Mahuta, God of the Forest; Tāwhirimatea, God of Thunder; Tūmatauenga, God of War; Papatūānuku is Mother Earth and lastly Te Kotare, The Sacred Kingfisher. Her aim is to keep the stories of her ancestors alive through timeless fashion pieces and her future collections.
This season see’s her release a two-piece Matariki collection to celebrate the Māori New Year which happens every winter in Aotearoa, New Zealand. This collection is inspired by the rising of the constellation Matariki, also known as Pleaides. This design is inspired by the winter night sky. The feathers are black with an irridescent shimmer and in the taniko band is the shimmer of gold which represents the stars in the winter night sky and the stars of Matariki.
Her upcoming collection is currently in development and gives a nod to pre-colonial times in Aotearoa which she has named 1840. It will mix many techniques and materials to recreate the Kākahu and Korowai of this time period.