An experience money can’t buy

A model wears a dress made of flowers at New Zealand Fashion Week Photo: Caitlan Johnson

Breaking into any industry is never easy – you need connections and experience. New Zealand Fashion Week 2017 offered both to Caitlan Johnston.

Johnston is a second-year Wintec journalism student with goals of being a fashion blogger and journalist working overseas.

To further her goals, she took it upon herself to get invited to New Zealand Fashion Week, even if it meant volunteering there.

Volunteering meant long days and hard work. “I have never packed and organised so many goodie bags ever.”

There were a lot of shows that she got to see but nothing compared to the Zambesi show, which was the first and showcased their “modernism and futuristic vibe”.

“It was a money-can’t-buy experience,” said Johnston. “It gives me motivation for chasing my career.”

Johnston could not stop smiling when talking about the people she met and the relationships she formed.

“I. Met. Colin Mathura-Jeffree,” she said.

Mathura-Jeffree is influential in the New Zealand fashion industry. Other notable people include Amber Peebles, Ashleigh Coldicutt and Ash Owens.

Johnston could not believe she was meeting all these people and more importantly getting to work with them.

“These are the people I’ll be working with…” said an awestruck Johnston. “I was left speechless.”

Johnston knows what she wants in her career and knew that she had to go to New Zealand Fashion Week.

“I want to go again – as a guest or VIP though,” she said.