Image: David K Shields, model Yasmin Bidois
The Kiri Nathan label is about identity & inclusivity! We are inspired by New Zealand!
The label produces exquisite, high-end fashion, Pounamu jewellery, handwoven accessories, contemporary Korowai and Kakahu (Maori cloaks).
Founder and head designer Kiri Nathan started the label in 2010.
KN is inspired by the strength and beauty of New Zealand and Maoridom. For Kiri, it is paramount that the people who work in her business adhere to Kawa and Tikanga (Protocol, customs, Integrity).
Since its inception KN has showcased at London Fashion Week & New Zealand Fashion Week. Kiri and husband Jason Nathan have met and gifted Pounamu and contemporary Korowai (Maori Cloak) to Beyonce, Mariah Carey and Demi Lovato as well as Will.I.Am and Ed Sheeran.
Self-taught carver Jason Nathan is the creator of the labels Pounamu Jewellery and Pounamu Artwork while Kiri is the fashion Designer. She is also a reknowned weaver, creating handwoven accessories, contemporary Korowai and Kakahu (Maori Cloaks). The husband and wife duo have a dynamic, creative relationship. Their creative collaboration produces pieces using new and previously unexplored techniques, while still drawing on the time-honoured and proven arts of Whakairo (carving) and Raranga (weaving).
KN creates pieces that New Zealanders can immediately connect to and the rest of the world can enjoy. People choose KN for life's big moments, the touchstones of their lives, creating an evolutionary journey for the wearer now and for generations to come.
'WHEN CELEBRATING AND CREATING FROM A CULTURE AND COUNTRY WE ALL HAVE A RESPONSIBILITY TO GIVE BACK TO THE COMMUNITY AND THE PEOPLE'
With a keen interest in Kiwi youth, Kiri sits on the board of the 'I have a dream programme' supporting and mentoring young Kiwi's. KN is also a member of the 'Wahine Toa Initiative' in cunjunction with the US Embassy. Identifying and mentoring leadership in young Maori Women.
KN is synonymous with great craftsmanship and unique and innovative designs. It represents the natural and cultural beauty that is proudly what Kiwi's call home...Aotearoa...New Zealand.
Image: Qiane Photography
KIRI NATHAN | Fashion Designer, Weaver, Artist
Ko Ngapuhi me Tainui oku iwi
Ko Ngati hine me Ngati maru oku hapu
Ko Otiria me Pororini oku marae
Ko Matatua me Tainui oku waka
Ko Hikurangi me Taupiri oku maunga
Ko taumarere me Waikato oku awa
Ko Kiri Nathan toku ingoa
My five children and husband are the driver behind everything I do, like most working mama’s my days are a balancing act, some days I get it right, others days I have a wine! Our house is always full of life, it is loud and busy but always filled with love and we wouldn’t have it any other way……
My earliest influence and mentor, in life and fashion, was my late grandmother Inez Fullerton. She had a beautiful and inspired take on how women should dress and hold themselves. Her relationship to fashion, and her intimate understanding of construction and fabrics was a huge part of my early development.
Listening to instinct through the development process is essential. As a 19yr old solo mother, I studied a three-year diploma in Visual Arts, majoring in Fashion. I also went back to the Marae and learnt traditional and contemporary weaving. These elements fused together and eventuated in the birth and continued evolution of the Kiri Nathan label.
I feel destiny plays a part, but hard work, intuition, perseverance and innovation will reap success both personally and professionally. I want KN supporters to feel they have been thought of and honoured when they wear the label.
Image: Qiane Photography
JASON NATHAN | Pounamu carver
Ko Ngatokimatawhaurua toku waka
Ko Puhanga Tohoroa te Maunga
Ko Managtawa te Awa
Ko Hokianga te moana
No Nga Puhi me Ngati Whatua oku Iwi
Ko Ngai Tutearu toku hapu
Ko Pukerata toku Marae
Ko Te Rau Tawa I Nui toku Wharenui
Ko Jason Nathan toku ingoa
I am a self-taught artist who specialises in Pounamu (NZ Greenstone) carving. I was initially inspired to make my wife and children Taonga (treasures). I believed this had to come from my own hands and it was essential to me that the whakapapa (genealogy) of the stone had to be the same for each of my five children. This is where I developed my connection with the stone. I currently create various collections based around challenges and change.
Life is built on emotions and I’ve seen people in awe of their Pounamu gifts, young men that puff out their chests and stand taller with pride, grown men and women break down and cry when handed this stone. Seeing first-hand the effect this Taonga (treasure) has on people you soon realize the power it possesses and understand why our Tipuna (ancestors) held this stone in such high regard. It is truly a beautiful thing and I am extremely proud and honoured to contribute in part to this process.
As well as carving for the label, I act as a director of the company and support Kiri with the labels journey forward.