The Pacific designers are from Cook Islands, Guam, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Samoa, Tahiti and Tonga.
This month is Fiji Fashion Weeks’ tenth Anniversary and the industry is in celebratory mode.
The Style Challenge competition began on May 1 where Suva’s shop retailers are being challenged to come up with the Best Dressed Window.
The Trend Setters Show sees the best emerging designers go up against established designers providing fashionistas with the hottest trends in Fiji. The show stopper – the Gold Couture Show will showcase Fiji’s best designers’ latest collections on the catwalk. Even the lunchtime workers will taste high fashion with the Lunch time Pop Up Fashion Show. The Fashion Symposium presented by Tracy Kennedy from New Zealand’s Otago Polytechnic will tidy up on the all too important business side of fashion.
The show includes 34 designers, eight children’s designers and over 20 student designers.
“The Fashion Council of Fiji is very proud to support Fiji Fashion Week and its Managing Director Ellen Whippy-Knight in delivering another fantastic fashion event,” Faraz Ali, Chairman of the Fashion Council of Fiji said.
“Fiji Fashion Week is now only three weeks away and I am personally very excited about what is to come. One major development this year is the re-introduction, and more solid application of the Pacific Resort Show on Thursday night, which is featuring an incredible line up of designers from around the Pacific, cementing Fiji Fashion Week as the preeminent fashion event of the Pacific.”
Last year, despite being hit by Cyclone Winston, Ms Whippy-Knight and her team delivered a successful show in September, ending with a promise of the biggest and best show this year for the tenth Anniversary of Fashion Week in Fiji.
Ms Whippy-Knight had earlier in March told Pacific Periscope that this year, Fiji Fashion Week was making a conscious decision to include the broader community in its events and had several new initiatives in place to bring fashion off the runway and into everyday lives. The run up to the 2017 programme began as early as on 25 March.
It is quite an achievement to have reached this major milestone, for which Fashion Week Ltd must be congratulated Mr Ali said.
Fiji — fashion hub of the Pacific
The Fashion Council of Fiji is pleased with this effort as it leads us closer to establishing Suva as the regional Fashion Capital. The council has just a few weeks ago announced the establishment of Fiji and the Pacific’s first fashion incubator project he said.
This will see designers be given an avenue to develop their brands in conjunction with a fashion trainer and business experts. This is a fashion business development initiative.
The fashion incubator will include a qualified fashion trainer, production space, retail outlet and photography studio according the Fashion Council of Fiji Facebook page.
Another exiting development on Fiji’s fashion horizon is the Australia-Pacific Technical College, which is also expanding its fashion offerings with a Certificate IV programme in Applied Fashion Design available from July 2017 and a Diploma programme available in 2018.
“There is no question that with the sheer raw talent, and the support of institutions through the Fashion Council of Fiji, Suva is now the undisputed Fashion Capital of the Pacific. We look forward now to the next phase of our development as we seek to take our fashion output and offering to the rest of the world.”
Although water is Fiji’s biggest international export, Fiji’s Fashion and clothing industry together provide a solid contribution to the economy.
Fiji’s TCF exports have remained stable over the past years at about $95-$100 million. The lion’s export share goes to Australia 75%, New Zealand 20% and 5% to other markets, said Kaushik Kumar, Managing Director of Fiji’s United Apparel.