“…Call the fashion police.
Tame Iti has revealed there was a flipside to his high-profile High Court trial – a brand new wardrobe, courtesy of menswear designers who used him as a walking billboard.
Iti, who returned to Ruatoki on Wednesday after the Urewera Four trial, said his dress in court prompted offers from menswear stores wanting him to wear their garments in the dock.
The Tuhoe activist said he viewed the court as theatre and he was happy to dress accordingly.
“That’s part of the performance,” he said.
He now has a selection of ties and vests as mementos of his four-week trial.
But menswear retailer Murray Crane, of Crane Brothers, believes there is more to Iti’s new attire than meets the eye.
Iti reminded him of “great photos of Maori warriors from the 19th century,” he said.
“I’m sure it’s the look he was trying to go for. Wearing top hats, I know he is dressed in a modern way, but … I thought historically it was pretty much referencing that period.”
Mr Crane said Iti was implying that “nothing has changed in the last 150 years”.
“I don’t think you can underestimate how much of a statement he is making.
It is quite a powerful message just by the way he is dressed.
“He could be standing in a court 100 years ago, really.”
Mr Crane said Iti wore the clothes well…”
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