Chairperson Janet Sios made this known at the launch of the PNG Fashion Festival on Saturday.
The PNG Fashion & Design Week launched the 2019 fashion festival as well as their website yesterday afternoon at the National Museum and Art Gallery in Port Moresby.
Sharing some of their success stories, Sios said each year, their runway attracts about 300 guests, providing a platform for PNG designers to showcase their work.
“And this has led to a much greater market exposure for them,” stated Sios. “To date, we have sent five local designers and one model to Pacific International Runway in Sydney, Australia, through our annual fashion exchange program.
“We are proud that through this platform, we have launched designers who, in a short span of time, have risen to be household names in the fashion industry. And they are excelling as well as SME players, in the likes of Annette Sete of Rabaul, Natasha Tamanabae of Oro, Heai Ugava, Robin Morove, Relvy from Madang and of course, Hadassah Tamanabae.”
Sios further said through their capacity development and upskilling programs, they have trained and mentored up to 150 female and male models, as well as trained about 200 emerging designers.
They intend to do more this year and continue to build the rather young industry in PNG, with Sios outlining that the PNG Fashion Festival this year focuses on making fashion inclusive and accessible to all.
“I am pleased to announce that this year, we are extending our programs to include people with special needs,” Sios stated. “The PNG Fashion & Design Week will work closely with advocates who have dedicated their lives to working with people with special needs.”
(Chairperson Janet Sios)