Leilani Rickard has always enjoyed having a unique and different sense of dress style. Her mother, aunt and grandmother were dress makers and started their own small business, manufacturing children’s clothing.
Leilani started experimenting with traditional Māori weaving creating beautiful, creative and contemporary designs. “We like thinking outside the box, and enjoy creating pieces that are truly unique to our heritage” says Leilani, “We like fashion that is different, which expresses our imagination and creativity”.
Leilani and Anastasia came up with the idea to create a high street fashion range comprised of high quality garments, that have an emotional connection to nature. ‘Natura’ being the Latin term for Nature (chosen by Anastasia for her science and art design background) and ‘Aura’ (chosen by Leilani for her weaving and artistic background), the name ‘Natura Aura’ reflects the fusion of science, nature and fashion while being inspired by their cultural heritage.
2007 – Entrant into Rotorua’s Wearable Arts Competition. Leilani created a hand woven Harakeke garment with a mix of traditional and contemporary elements.
2008 – Anastasia worked at Scion as a Student Research Assistant, where she worked on different microscopes analysing different native weaving plants. Anastasia’s friend, a German Scientist, wanted to learn more about Pa Harakeke (New Zealand Flax). As a token of her gratitude, Anastasia’s friend gave Harakeke microscopic imagery to Leilani and Anastasia as a gift.
2013 – Leilani and Anastasia won the Avant Garde Category at Miromoda and showcased their rainwear collection ‘Weather the Storm’ at New Zealand Fashion Week. ‘Weather the Storm’ was inspired by their Māori ancestors, who wore Paki (rainwear made from Harakeke).
2015 – Iwi Creations showcased in the J Autumn Fashion Showcase on a floating catwalk on the River Seine in Paris. International fashion show producer Jessica Minh Anh invited Leilani and Anastasia to participate in the fashion event.
2016 – Natura Aura won the Established Designer Category at Miromoda and showcased their daywear collection ‘Science Nature Fashion’ at New Zealand Fashion Week. ‘Science Nature Fashion’ was inspired by the fuse of science, nature and fashion and the unlimited possibilities with microscopic designs and imagery.
2016 – Natura Aura showcased in Tiki Āhua – Kā Mura: Set Alight, an annual fashion, design, music and dance extravaganza through the hallowed mist and steam of Te Whakarewarewa Valley, at Rotorua’s Te Puia.
2018 – Natura Aura showcased at NAC International Fashion Culture Week, in the New Zealand Designers Show in Auckland. This event showcased designers from New Zealand, Australia and China.
2018 – Natura Aura showcased in Tiki Āhua – Kā Mowai: Sacred Waters, this event captivates the imagination and stimulates the creativity and development of Māori art and Māori people.
2018 – Natura Aura showcased in InnoNative Indigenous Fashion Show MOKO – Making Our Mark On The World in Whangarei. An evening of fashion, art, dance and music.