Serum: What inspired this shoot?
Nirvana: A combination of a few things, mainly conversations between Kamal and myself. I wanted to pay homage to immigrant women. I remember when I was very young my sister and I used to go for walks with my Nani (grandma) and Nana (grandpa) and Nani used to wear a sari, cardigan and walking sneakers. Most of us would have seen these Nanis, Aajis, Kakis, Mamis, Mausis, Fuas (aunties) around our neighbourhoods with similar outfits on. The pride they hold for our indigenous clothing combined with amalgamating into a foreign space and just wanting to stay fit. This became the focus of this shoot.
S: With the creative direction what did you hope to capture in this shoot and do you feel you achieved it?
N: I wanted to deconstruct ideas on how garments are worn and bring a street style element to traditional clothing in a respectful way. I hope I did!
S: What are you most proud of this shoot?
N: I’m proud of everyone involved. I’m proud of the models involved; I took them straight out of their comfort zones and they owned it in every way. I am forever grateful to everyone involved for having faith in me too.
S: What is Curry Gang
N: It’s still very much a working concept and I want it to forever grow and expand. I also don’t want to be the only one that decides what Curry Gang is, I am very keen for it to be a discussion. Essentially a safe and loving space for all curry kids to be who they are.
S: Where do you see it/ hope to see it sit in NZ’s creative scene
N: I am not sure to be honest, I haven’t done something like this before! I will appreciate any love or appreciation I receive in the creative realm.
S: Who are the models you chose and where are they from?
N: Chloe, Hebah, Sonika and Kavita. Hebah, Sonika and Kavita are Fijian Indian – Aotearoa born and Chloe is South African. We all share a history of our ancestors being indentured workers so it was very special for us to share this experience together.
S: Who are the creatives you worked with and why did you pick them?
N: Kamal; he chose me! He saw something in me that I didn’t at the time and had faith in me to be able to do something. He takes dope photos and had no doubt in my mind he would bring justice to it.
I knew that Hebah would be able to do an amazing job with the makeup and I wanted to give her a space to do more creative makeup and she truly delivered.
Aleyna has been my friend for a long time and I’ve seen her move creativity for a while! I knew she would capture the shoot in her own way and I wanted that energy to be a part of it! So glad I asked.
S: Where are you from?
N: Lots of places. I am from Oranga. I am from Aotearoa. I am from Fiji and in some ways I am also from India.
S: What’s next for you?
N: Any and everything creative. I am really looking forward to working with other POC in a creative sense but also combining it with something bigger. Discussing social, cultural or political matters through swag would be really cool.
S: What does international women’s day mean for you?
N: It means to celebrate all women and this includes anyone that identifies as being a woman. To celebrate who we are and to honour all those that fight for us now and have in the past.