BRIEF HISTORY - Leiana Rei Perawiti

Born in Waverly, Taranaki, New Zealand, Tribal Affiliations - Iwi -Tainui.

Leiana Rei 2016

A naturally gifted and creative talent, Leiana's first interest, was sewing, making her own clothes, school uniform, and earning an income through dressmaking while still at school. She left college to work for a reputable Fashion Designer in Wellington and then moved to Australia for 10 years, where she gained further experience in tailoring, high fashion leather clothing and interior furnishings.

With a background in manufacturing and retailing, Leiana realized her career as a Fashion Designer. She attended Wanganui Polytechnic from 1998- 2000 and graduated with a Bachelor of Fashion & Design.

Leiana's natural talent was exposed when she took out all the fashion awards on offer in New Zealand. She was noted as a "Serial Award Winning Designer" In 2002 she won the Kakaahu Fashion Design Travelling Scholarship that sent her to London, Paris, Florence and Milan. In Italy she was a guest at the House of Versace with the Versace Classic team . She attended Versace fashion shows, media presentations, buying showrooms and international trade shows of other labels.

Leiana launched her label "Leiana Rei" at the L'Oreal New Zealand Fashion Week held in Auckland, October, 2003. A collection of "High Fashion Daywear & Paua Printed Resortwear "wowed" International Media & Buyers. The Paua Resortwear Collection, put Leiana into the limelight as the Supreme Award Winner making her the "Fashion Design Ambassador for New Zealand". The paua collection also earned her the Supreme Award at the Wearable Maori Heritage Awards that sent her to Arushi Fashion House in Dubai, owned by New Zealander, Peter Loughlin (Tuwharetoa). The internship in 2004, was an opportunity of a lifetime, creating garments for royalty and aristocrats of the Middle East.

After the success of her launch, local interest spread with many reputable outlets, such as Kirkcaldie and Stains and Te Papa in Wellington, stocking her range. She licensed the paua printed fabric to "Moontide International ", New Zealand's largest Swimwear Company in 2004/05.

The beauty of the paua print continued to spread worldwide when President Bill Boyd from Rotary International ordered 7,200 items as part of their uniform, imported into America and worn around the world.

The paua print remains as part of Leiana Rei's Signature Range.