New Zealand Fashion Week sold to Canada-based businessman

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The founder of New Zealand Fashion Week, Dame Pieter Stewart​, has sold the event to Fiji-born businessman Feroz Ali.

A spokeswoman for Stewart wouldn’t say how much the event sold for.

Stewart, 75, would stay on as the director of the 2021 festival. This year’s event would mark the 20th New Zealand Fashion Week.

New Zealand Fashion Week founder Dame Pieter Stewart has sold the festival.

Hannah Peters/Getty Images

New Zealand Fashion Week founder Dame Pieter Stewart has sold the festival.

In a statement, Stewart said work to get ready for this year’s fashion week was going ahead as usual. It was to start on August 23.

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“It’s business as usual as we head towards New Zealand Fashion Week 2021, but I am delighted that the future of NZFW will be in good hands,” she said.

In 2015, Stewart said she was going to step back from Fashion Week. On its 15th anniversary, she said she was going to stand down as managing director – at least that was the plan. She stayed on and even after selling NZFW to Ali, would continue as managing director.

Based in Vancouver, Canada, Ali has investments across a range of industries.

Born in Fiji, he lived in New Zealand for 26 years before moving to Canada. His profile on Whitecliffe College’s website said he had worked for 20 years in management roles in New Zealand.

In 2018, he bought Whitecliffe College, the largest privately owned art school in New Zealand. He described himself online as a “serial education entrepreneur”, having started in banking before moving into the education sector.