Fashion leader honoured

Director of Dunedin fashion label NOM*d Margarita Robertson says being awarded an honorary degree from Otago Polytechnic 
was 'pretty special'.
Director of Dunedin fashion label NOM*d Margarita Robertson says being awarded an honorary degree from Otago Polytechnic was 'pretty special'.

The director of fashion label NOM*d, Margarita Robertson, was recognised for her role in invigorating Dunedin's fashion scene with an honorary degree from Otago Polytechnic yesterday.

Ms Robertson received an honorary bachelor of design (fashion) at the polytechnic's graduation ceremony yesterday.

She said it was ''pretty special'' being awarded the degree, despite feeling a little odd about not having put in years of study as other graduates had.

''We have always been a big part of the Dunedin fashion scene, and NOM*d is a proud supporter of local fashion and the development of emerging fashion designers,'' she said.

Otago Polytechnic fashion academic leader Margot Barton said the names NOM*d and Margarita Robertson were ''synonymous with Dunedin fashion''.

''Margi has been instrumental in the continued growth of Dunedin's vibrant fashion sector since 1986, when she and her husband, Chris, boldly launched NOM*d, despite an economic slump in the Dunedin fashion industry,'' Dr Barton said.

From these early beginnings, NOM*d quickly established itself as one of the country's premier fashion labels. In 1999, NOM*d was chosen to represent New Zealand at London Fashion Week, alongside Karen Walker, World and Zambesi. These were the first New Zealand labels to show at an international fashion week.

Dr Barton said Ms Robertson had also been notable for the mentoring role she played with budding fashion designers.

''Margi has personally been visible, accessible and supportive to Otago Polytechnic students.''

Ms Robertson said the current crop of young fashion lovers benefited hugely from being able to take courses like the one offered at Otago Polytechnic.

It was a ''different world'' when she first entered the fashion industry, she said.

Her message to her fellow graduates was to ''make sure that they love what they do every day''.

vaughan.elder@odt.co.nz