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APEC NZ is currently running a procurement process


- 18 June 

APEC NZ is currently running a procurement process for a New Zealand garment to be worn by APEC leaders for the iconic ‘family photo’ during their November virtual summit.

The garment will be gifted to leaders from APEC’s 21 members who represent half of global trade and 60% of GDP, including the USA, China, Japan and Russia. The image of the leaders wearing the garment generates international media headlines.

Since the custom was established in 1993 when former US President Bill Clinton handed out bomber jackets to his counterparts, APEC leaders’ fashion has featured everything from Driza-Bone coats to ponchos and “ao dai” tunics patterned with golden lotus flowers.

APEC NZ Deputy Secretary Andrea Smith says the call has gone out to the country’s designers to submit proposals for a distinctly New Zealand APEC leaders ‘silly shirt’ that will capture world attention.

“This APEC fashion moment is an opportunity to profile New Zealand’s culture and brand on the world stage and reflect the APEC NZ story – “Join, Work, Grow. Together. Haumi ē, Hui ē, Tāiki ē.”

Like all APEC 2021 meetings, the November summit is virtual. Leaders will be photographed from the waist up, so that will also need to be taken into consideration by designers, who can submit their entries individually or as part of a collaboration, says Ms Smith.

“In a year of digital diplomacy, this garment is an important way New Zealand can create a shared experience to join APEC leaders. As a gift to the leaders, it also acknowledges our gratitude and respect for the shared mahi and collaboration undertaken and achieved by APEC leaders across New Zealand’s host year,” says Ms Smith.