The inaugural Bottega Gold Fijian Fashion Festival on 1-2 June was the latest new launch pad for Fiji’s clothing and fashion industries.The not-for-profit event was presented by The Fashion Council of Fiji (FCF) to assist with fashion education for its members. The goal is aligned to the FCF to develop small to medium enterprises in the creative sector and support FCF’s goal to make Fiji the Fashion capital of the Pacific.
Twenty-three Fijian fashion designers showcased at the Grand Pacific Hotel in Suva.
Faraz Ali, Chairman of the Fashion Council of Fiji said, “Essentially the Fashion Council of Fiji saw an issue in the market where we had fashion shows which were skewed toward entertainment, with surface discussion of fashion business but no real concrete move towards encouraging commercial participation of designers and other members of the broader fashion ecosystem.
“The Bottega Gold Fijian Fashion Festival is Fiji and the regions first not for profit, industry owned, fashion platform, based on the values of diversity, inclusivity, and excellence. The festival is committed to the council’s goal of strengthening the SMEs that make up the eco-system of the Fijian fashion industry and establishing Suva as the global centre for Pacific fashion.”
But the festival also showcased associated industries providing platforms for the talented wider community from designers, models, photographers, hair and makeup artists, stylists, sound, lighting, entertainers and musos.
“We have made a concerted effort to keep the Festival 100% Fijian to showcase the plethora of skills we have available in our existing creative industries. We are also wanting to encourage the next generation of fashion leaders, hence our employment of younger skilled managers,” Mr Ali said.
Fijian Fashion Festival event manager Sydel Whippy interviewed in the Fiji Sun, said they wanted to provide opportunities and a platform to grow their businesses.
There were two general shows in the evening and one day of solo designer shows, allowing more established designers to show their branding and individualised shows, inviting their own VIP guest lists and build relationships.
The festival also embraced modern technology that was live streamed, aimed at Fiji’s diaspora community.
“We will supply you with the live feed! So, tune in to watch. All the very best designers are involved with the Festival. Keep up with our Facebook page for updates,” Mr Ali said speaking to Pacific Periscope just before the event.
The 23 designers included: Rachel Fairfax, Zuber, Gabriel Gade, Honson Keong, LavaLani, Renuka Kumar, Fancy Pants, Donnalesi, Rowie Lal, Pacific Islands Art, Aisea Konrote, Hupfeld Hoerder, AZA, Samson Lee Fiji, Karalina, Deep Blue, Zilda, Alipate Sowane, Libby Pickering, Vono, Aladdin’s Cave, 8 Mountains, Jadeine Whiteside.