Great Full: The Non-Profit Supporting Good Causes by Celebrating Kiwi Creatives

Great Full brings together talented creatives in New Zealand to raise money for worthwhile causes. We chat to founder Melissa Gardi about the non-profit’s new collection.

Studies have frequently shown that gratitude is associated with greater happiness and Melissa Gardi is well versed in the benefits of counting one’s blessings. “There is just so much scientific research that shows that practising gratitude can have quite transformative effects on people’s lives for the better – on your physical health, emotional wellbeing, career and relationships,” she says. “Practising gratitude can enhance your life.”

Gardi’s appreciation of the goodness in her own life inspired her to found Great Full, a not-for-profit that sees leaders from New Zealand’s creative sectors collaborate to produce limited-edition collections of goods, with profits from sales donated to a designated charity.

Gardi moved to New Zealand from the US 17 years ago, and during her time in Aotearoa her admiration for all that the nation has to offer has grown. “As much as this is a small country, there is also world-class creativity that comes in many shapes and forms,” she says. Reflecting on what made her grateful to live in New Zealand made Gardi realise that we are “a place of greatness” – a country brimming with talent: great full. “I thought, let’s recognise and celebrate how great New Zealand is by bringing people together to do great things.”

Photography: Hannah Richards, Model: Amanda Bransgrove from Silverfox, Hair/makeup: Virginia Carde


Each Great Full collection is made in New Zealand and supports a cause that affects New Zealanders. Gardi launched Great Full a year ago with a line of baby onesies, toddler tees and beanies designed by top names in Kiwi fashion: Juliette Hogan, NOM*d, Trelise Cooper, twenty-seven names and Zambesi. The project has raised about $14,000 for the Starship Foundation. Now, Great Full has launched its second project with new products, new collaborators and a new cause. The collection comprises ‘Bum Huggers’ – his and hers briefs – to raise awareness of bowel cancer and raise funds for Bowel Cancer New Zealand. “I was absolutely floored by the statistics of how bowel cancer affects New Zealanders,” says Gardi.

Bowel cancer is the second-highest cause of cancer death in New Zealand. It kills as many New Zealanders as breast and prostate cancer combined, and it can affect anyone at any age. “Those were all compelling reasons for me to decide to get behind this cause.” The Bum Huggers feature original designs from six prominent New Zealand artists: Dick Frizzell, Flox, Michel Tuffery, Misery (Tanja McMillan), Ruby Jones and Shane Hansen. “I was hoping that we could reflect the diverse fabric of New Zealand in the collection of artists that we invited to be involved,” says Gardi. “For every artist that we invited, I’m appreciative that they all immediately said yes. Some of them have had personal experiences with bowel cancer.”

Although Great Full benefits its designated charities and raises awareness of its causes, it also serves the creatives and businesses that collaborate to make the products. “Over the past 17 years of living in New Zealand, I’ve observed how challenging it is for Kiwi businesses because of our being a country of less than five million people,” says Gardi. “So it’s important that we’re celebrating all that is great in New Zealand and that we also give pathways for our creative community to get involved in these projects.”

See Great Full’s bum huggers in the album below – each woman who was part of the photo shoot has had a family member diagnosed with bowel cancer.

The ‘Black is King’ Stylist Created More Than 60 Designer Looks For Beyoncé

Beyoncé wore more than 60 designer outfits in Black is King, including couture looks from Valentino, Burberry and Schiaparelli.

The 38-year-old singer’s visual album, which serves as a companion to her movie soundtrack, The Lion King: The Gift, dropped on Disney+ last Friday, and fans were left stunned by the incredible ensembles the mother-of-three sports throughout the 85-minute film.

Fashion curator Zerina Akers, who worked with Beyoncé on Black is King, opened up about working on the project during an interview with Entertainment Tonight, and revealed she had to come prepared with suitcases of clothes for the former Destiny’s Child star.

Noting that the Lemonade hitmaker had 63 outfit changes, Akers explained: “You have to be prepared. If she says, ‘I just want to shoot, I think it would be really nice in a T-shirt’, I’m like, OK, 10 ball gowns, please. Just in case! Because more likely than not, we get there and it’s like, ‘Oh, it’s so beautiful, we need something more grand.’ And we kind of allow it to shape-shift.”

Among the ensembles was a Valentino Haute Couture leopard-print jumpsuit designed by creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli, a cow-print corset top with matching mini skirt by Burberry’s Riccardo Tisci, a bold print custom Mugler two-piece, Schiaparelli haute couture dresses, and an oversized floral-print Erdem gown.

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MOOD 4 EVA. #BlackIsKing, a new visual album from @Beyonce, is now streaming on #DisneyPlus.

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Akers had to ensure that she had lots of outfit choices for Beyoncé’s eight-year-old daughter Blue Ivy, who also features in the visual album.

“The cool thing about Blue that not a lot of people know is that a lot of times she chooses when she wants to [be involved],” she shared. “She may see her mother doing a shot she thinks is cool. When she sees something in it, she may be like, ‘I want to do that, can I have a turn to do that?’

“She gets up and she just kind of does her thing. It all kind of comes to life.”

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