First Deaf Maori Fashion Designer Wins 2018 Attitude Entrepreneur Award

As a newborn baby Cruze Kapa survived collapsed lungs. He was later diagnosed with hearing loss but that didn’t stop him dreaming big. Creating his own fashion label was a goal he dreamt up when he was a child. “I was about six years old when I first thought about being a fashion designer. I remember watching my nana sew on the machine and doing hand stitching and repairs.”

Years later with a Bachelor of Design, in 2017 he launched his fashion label, CRUZE. Fusing his Maori culture and his personal journey to create a fashion label that supports and inspires people with disabilities is one of the reasons why Cruze won the 2018 Attitude Entrepreneur Award.

This talented and ambitious designer is now internationally recognised; his fashion label being selected for the 2018 Vancouver Fashion Week. His most recent achievement being invited to participate in a Design Tour in Shanghai.

“Our Geneva Elevator Family is very proud of Cruze and so privileged to part of his journey. Cruze Kapa and his fashion label send a clear message that a disability is only a limitation if you allow it to become one,” says Belinda Dodunski, Geneva Elevator Deaf & Support Services Manager.

“It proves that with hard work, dedication, and the right support, anyone can achieve what’s important to them,” adds Veronica Manion, Geneva Healthcare Chief Executive.

What does 2019 hold for Cruze Kapa? He plans on continuing his fashion career path and breaking more glass ceilings.

More Information
Cruze Kapa’s story on Attitude:

Photo Credit: Attitude Awards