Adrienne Whitewood (Rongowhakaata) inspired by Maori art and culture, takes traditional concepts and with them creates unique print on silhouettes, reflecting her love of decorative design her ethos is all about creating an emotional connection to indigenous design.
Sewing from the age of 8 taught by her kuia (grandmother) Adrienne pursued her studies in textiles graduating in 2009 from Auckland University of Technology with a degree in fashion. She opened her first store ahu Boutique in 2013 dedicated to growing high end contemporary Maori design in Rotorua and held her first solo show at New Zealand Fashion week in 2017.
Adrienne says ‘I love to think of print as a way to give the body movement through design I’m always fascinated when I research different Maori art practices and discover how inventive and resourceful our tupuna (ancestors) were. Designing using Maori print is a way I feel I can make that connection to my culture I’m always blown away by all the amazing customers that love our pieces and I feel a genuine need to dig deeper and create more meaningful designs that reflect this passion for indigenous Aotearoa creativity.’
Since giving birth to her daughter Harete (born 07/03/2019) her whole approach to business has changed and wants to create more sustainable longterm practices. She is currently pursuing environmentally sustainable textiles and manufacturing processes overseas to increase her care of holistic thoughtful design.