NZFT Fam: Makyla Ata

Makyla Ata, a west coast girl raised around Bethell’s Beach and Titirangi has always been fond of making things. Her interest in fashion started from a very young age “my mum recently pulled out a whole pile of crafts I made as a kid and majority of them were covered in cut outs of clothing from magazines and drawings of clothing.” She sees fashion as a broad concept that is constantly changing, “it’s so expressive and it’s so creative, it’s a combination of all the things that make me passionate. The design process is something that I LOVE so much, I am constantly looking at collections and then googling to find out what inspired the designer. I find it so fascinating.”

Her own approach to the design process is heavily based on her past experiences, “My creative process for designing garments starts off with a mood. I’m a very nostalgic person so I’m usually drawn to a personal experience, feeling or memory. Then I build on that. I find that halfway through a mood board, I will have established my colour palette and I need to find fabric that will inspire me further. Then I sketch heaps and start toiling and make changes to my ideas until its perfect.”

Resene Designer - Runway - New Zealand Fashion Week 2018

Relating back to her tactile roots, Makyla knew that NZ Fashion Tech was the right place to study for her because of the hands-on approach to learning. She says “I decided to study at NZFT because I loved that it’s so hands on. I like that you learn the foundations in CFT and CPD and then you combine all of this learning in your final year. It’s thrilling to see how much you have learnt and how far you can push yourself.”

Resene Designer - Runway - New Zealand Fashion Week 2018

Having recently been announced as the winner of the Resene NZ Fashion Tech Colour of Fashion, Makyla has said that it was a challenge worth the sleepless nights and hours poured into the project.“My Resene experience is something I will have with me for the rest of my life. I knew before I started at NZFT that it was something I needed to put 110% into and I’m proud of myself for what I achieved. It was a massive challenge. From the moment we received our paint colours and brief I didn’t really sleep. I spent 4 days including my entire weekend writing about my muse, creating mood boards, and sketching over and over again until things clicked for me and I was away with my idea. I actually discovered a lot about myself during this project. It throws you into challenges you don’t expect, one of the biggest being the judging day where we presented and spoke in front of a panel of judges who are important people in the fashion industry. That’s HUGE!!!”


The self-described lover of colour and print is now in the midst of creating her capsule collection for the end of year NZ Fashion Tech Diploma Runway Showcase, “Right now I’m focusing on creating a mini range that showcases all the things that I love and are important me.” The future is looking bright for Makyla as well, with big goals to look forward to after completing her studies, “My dream job is to work alongside a group of passionate people creating my own clothing that women will love wearing.”

Images: Getty & supplied.

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