Fashion Week, Maximum Gato and the Internet Party

As many of you will know I have been at New Zealand Fashion Week as a photographer this week. So that is why blogging has been a bit sparse. It is also why I noticed a tweet that was retweeted by the Internet Party account. Recently they started an account called Maximum Gato, which is the name of their party mascot. Maximum has sent a couple of tweets in the last 24 hours or so trying to hook into the talk around New Zealand Fashion Week.


New Zealand Fashion Week is the biggest event  of the year for the fashion industry. It is a chance for the New Zealand fashion industry to get world with attention. This year there are buyers from Inverted Edge, asos and Showroom Seven. There are also media and bloggers from around the world. In the 10 years to 2010, which is the latest figures I can find easily, fashion and apparel exports were worth $230mil a year to New Zealand.


So if you were a party that was keen to see more jobs and more exports from New Zealand, you would surely want to make sure that you did things to support the industry and its biggest week of the year.  Is this something that might be achieved by a political party using the names of well known New Zealand fashion business? The Internet Party are a party that elicits strong feelings on both sides of the political divide. There are people on both sides of the political spectrum who support them, just as there are people on both sides who don’t. But political parties really need to be careful using the names, and trademarks, of businesses in their promotion. As can be seen by some peoples reaction to Dan Carter and Jonah Lomu saying they support National, there can be a backlash on the business, which is not fair when they have not been asked about being mentioned.


The first tweet that the account sent was:


Which is not too bad. But it is the tweet that they sent on the morning of the first show that raised questions with me.


They have continued this during the week with images relating to Zambesi:


And Hailwood and Kate Sylvester:


The use of the Nom*D, and others, brand name, in a prepared graphic is what I find a little odd. Is the Internet Party trying to imply support from Nom*D, or any of the other designers? There is a huge difference a party holding a policy launch at a business, or a party leader opening a new building or facility for a business and using that as part of their promotion, and what has happened here where they have just used the name of the business. If it had just been a photo from the Nom*D show, or any of the other shows, that the account had tweeted I think it would be fine. Do any of these designers know that the Internet Party is trying to use their brand to build profile? Is it something that should be being undertaken by a political party?