Manurewa style attracts attention in the US

The NinetysThe Ninetys, a clothing company founded by Manurewa High School students as part of the Young Enterprise Scheme (YES) programmes, has continued quietly going about its business two years after the students finished school.

The motivation to persevere has been friendship among founders Kere Paul, Tyler Popata (pictured) and Miguel Winiata. They also enjoy the process of design, production and distribution from a garage studio in Manurewa.

The young men have all held down day jobs, which The Ninetys clothing production fits around. Now, a contract to supply T Shirts for a music video by Californian hiphop artist, J. Outlaw, and the potential for global awareness, has got them thinking about scaling up.

"We’re looking to establish ourselves with a mentor who can help us understand what would be involved in growing the business," says Tyler. A key need for them is to grow without sacrificing their principles, where liking what they do is more important than finding fame and fortune.

Connections made through Business Academy head teacher Emma O’Riordan have begun the process. Just quietly, we’re hoping the seeds of New Zealand’s next cool clothing brand, like Huffer or I Love Ugly, will have been sown here within the fabric of Manurewa High School. 

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