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Talented Kiwi on the fashion runway to the world

Talented Kiwi on the fashion runway to the world

“Every day we get to create a new reality through our own fantasy. How cool is that?”

Certificates in Makeup and Hairdressing at Cut Above Academy have helped Gee Pikinga realise his fashion dreams.

Graduating in 2011, Gee is a trainer at Cut Above Academy in Auckland with an envious resume. He’s lead makeup artist for Project Runway New Zealand, as well as New Zealand Makeup Director for Maybelline New York. He also has his own Makeup and Hairdressing business, so is very busy!

He’s on his way to the big time, but credits Cut Above for giving him the freedom to be the best in his chosen field.

“I loved Cut Above for creating a safe space that accepts and celebrates all of its students, especially LGBTQIA+, and the deep-rooted feeling of whanaungatanga imparted to its tauira, by its staff.”

“I learnt from my tutors not only the skills that I acquired as a student, but a greater sense of self and who I was.”

Expression of self, and being allowed the creativity to breathe is one of the cornerstones of Cut Above Academy. Without it, Gee wouldn’t be able to emulate his style icons Yohji Yamamoto, Andre Leon Talley, Lauryn Hill, Erykah Badu, Isabella Blow, and Dapper Dan.

“Anyone who is expressing their creative genius freely and unapologetically. I have an extremely reflective spirit that finds metaphor and meaning in all facets of life, that continue to inspire my work as an artist.”

Gee is deep thinking, but it’s the freedom of expression that makeup allows him, that fires his spirit.

“The gratification of being able to create or see temporary moments of fashion in all of its brilliance with the stroke of a brush gives me chills.”