AUT fashion graduate Sandra Tupu has pulled off a first, winning both the Supreme Award and the Runner Up prize at the Westfield Style Pasifika fashion show.
Tupu won the overall prize with a three piece outfit called Tatau, and was announced runner up for her menswear collection of the same name. The collection is based on the Samoan tatau (pe’a) and includes coats made of recycled woollen blankets with interior features using old cotton flour bags.
Tupu who graduated in 2009 with a Bachelor of Design specialising in menswear debuted Tatau at last year’s Rookie; a fashion show by AUT third-year fashion students.
Westfield Style Pasifika judge Denise L’Estrange Corbet described Tupu as a “stand-out winner” saying that her collection was very commercial and could go straight into a store and sell.
Former fellow AUT classmate Blair Archibald was runner up to Tupu in the Max Three Piece Collection of Day Wear category. Archibald also showed his designs at last year’s Rookie show and earlier this year won the Miromdoa Emerging Designer and Overall Winner awards for his menswear collection. Part of his prize was the opportunity to show at NZ Fashion Week in September.
As Supreme Winner of Westfield Style Pasifika, Tupu won $3000 and two return tickets to the Pacific on Pacific Blue. She also won $2000 for Runner Up.
Her win builds on earlier success this year at the iD Dunedin Emerging Designer Awards when Tatau took the Otago Institute of Design Sustainability Award worth $2,500.
The iD Dunedin 2010 awards were also successful for another AUT alumnus Glenn Yungnickel who graduated in 2008. Yungnickel, an honours graduate who now works as assistant designer at Crane Brothers, Auckland, won the Pulp magazine Pulp Fashion Culture Award, which guarantees editorial coverage for his striking menswear collection, “In the Red”.
This is the second year in a row that a former AUT fashion student and ex-Rookie has won the Supreme Award at Westfield Style Pasifika.
Last year Nadeesha Godammune who graduated from AUT in 2008, took the overall award with her Trompe L’Oeil collection.