A Southlander for a decade, Monica is a child of the globe, born in Holland and spending time living in the USA, Canada and Auckland before taking up residence in the south. Monica is enthusiastic about her chosen home stating “I love living in Southland and don’t wish to move!”.
Luckily for her, Southern Institute of Technology (SIT) offers just what Monica was searching for and was the perfect introduction to the fashion industry. Having previously studied Veterinary Nursing, Animal Technology and Photography, Fashion now adds another string to Monica’s bow and an outlet for her seemingly endless streams of creativity.
Having worked as a photographer for the past 15 years and still fitting photography work in around her studies, Monica mostly specialises in sports and events but also has some experience with fashion photography. This involvement was the only connection she had with the fashion industry before commencing her studies at SIT.
“Not having a fashion background wasn’t the hindrance I thought it would be. I started with a clean slate and thanks to the tutors, the transition into the world of fashion was not only smooth, but so much fun! I have loved learning each subject and getting creative. SIT has surpassed what I thought it would be”.
Another highlight for Monica has been the creativeness and inclusivity of SIT’s downtown campus. “I love the downtown campus. I love the fact that it’s basically the creative hub – the whole building oozes a creative vibe. I love the fact that there are animation students, film students and art students that are just as creative as each other but in a different field. Sometimes talking to some of them gives you the boost of creative energy you need to think outside the box when it comes to designing. The tutors are fantastic – I always come away with more ideas and energy to get creating after talking with them. They give you the freedom and guidance to stretch yourself, think critically, yet so creatively and get the extra little bit you didn’t think you had. I love exploring different styles, trying new things and having the tutors encourage and give you the confidence to do it”.
Monica is one of three fashion students selected to display their work at SIT’s incubator shop over the summer and was also recently given the opportunity to be involved in being part of the design team for the Southland Stags/Rugby Southland playing jersey for next season. Bringing together all the elements of her study into a real-life scenario has made the project an amazing experience for Monica and the result of one of her designs being selected to use for next season’s playing shirts made it extra special.
With her future plans including ideally completing higher study, continuing with her photography and combining fashion with her photography, Monica looks set to be one busy lady! “I definitely would like to continue in fashion, I’d like to continue designing, it’s such a creative outlet, I absolutely love it. I’d love to have a space where I can design, work and sell some finished garments in Southland”.