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Edible Fashion Awards inspire youngsters to create


Edible: Designer Vaya Andersen modelling her 2020 Design Taiki Tai made from melted plastic bottles, dehydrated kiwifruit leather, lime slices and avocado stones.

The Edible Fashion Awards have evolved into one of the most unique offerings    on the Hawke’s Bay event calendar, showcasing resourcefulness, ingenuity, and showstopping creativity, year after year.

Edible now attracts seasoned designers from Hawke’s Bay and beyond, however it’s the steady rise in enthusiasm from local rangatahi stirring excitement for event director Kelie Jensen.

“I’ve always been passionate about inspiring young people through the arts, the impact can be incredibly powerful. Putting in the effort to create something and then experiencing the excitement of having that work celebrated publicly, it can plant a seed, even ignite a future career,” she says.

It’s this potential to inspire young designers that led to the launch of Edible’s ‘Designers in Schools’ programme in 2018. This year the event has three designers working across 15 Hawke’s Bay schools, providing inspiration, mentorship and hands-on workshops leading up to the event.

Camberley School is one of the many kura benefitting this year. Edible has been on the school’s radar for the past two years, but Covid disruptions made it difficult to bring student designs to fruition in 2020 and 2021. Determined to provide more support this year, Kelie engaged award-winning Edible designer, 16-year-old Vaya Andersen, and her Mum Tracy, to shepherd the students through the creative process.

Vaya, who has participated in the event annually since she was four, has had success on multiple occasions, last year placing second in the Senior Design Category and taking out the Unio Goldsmith & Gallery Jewellery and Accessory Award with her design Makali’i.

Vaya understands the impact experienced designers can have on first-time entrants and is excited to be a part of this process at Camberley.

“Mum and I have loved it. The kids are so cute and enthusiastic and are working so hard. We started the process by looking at past designs and that brought out so much creativity, they start to believe it could them standing up on the stage."    

Tracy also notes the massive confidence boost she has observed in her two daughters through their participation in Edible over the years.  She feels strongly that other young designers will experience similar benefits. “It’s so rewarding watching how excited the students are. They’re all buzzing, asking questions and sharing their ideas and they don’t even realise yet how fun it’s going to be for them on the day!”

Finalist designs in categories from age 5 to adult, will be showcased at the 2022 Edible Fashion Awards on Friday 26 August. Tickets are on sale now at or in person from the Box Office at Toitoi – Hawke’s Bay Arts & Events Centre.


4 August 2022

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