The Wearing Fiji project is proud to present its designer line up for it’s inaugural show at the Grand Pacific Hotel foyer.
These 7 designers will also be mentoring a student designer who will produce one garment for a capsule collection to show on the night.
“We have chosen 7 designers from our industry to showcase their collections to launch our project, our core focus is mentoring and education and these designers are helping us mentor young aspiring designers, the future of our industry” said co-founder, Samson Lee.
Here is the line up:
Brand: Hupfeld Hoerder Designs
From humble beginnings of designing simple shift dresses while he was a university student, Hupfeld has come a long way to becoming an established Designer who has created fabric designs for major organisations in Fiji, winning various national fashion and business awards, as well as representing the country in many fashion events around the world. Hupfeld has proudly represented Fiji in the Islands of the World Fashion Week in the Bahamas where selected pieces of his collection were photographed and circulated in fashion magazines in New York.
Hupfeld's specialties are in the area of casual resort-wear and haute couture. His designs promote a strong sense of the Pacific, incorporating his culture, identity and heritage. He utilises authentic and natural fibres as well as creates designs in vibrant colours that reflect the colours and the diversity of the Pacific. Hupfeld is mentoring APTC Fashion Design student, Shane Laboriel Pickering.
Brand: Sugarose Fiji
Atelaite better known as ‘Ash’ to her friends became interested in fashion from a young age but she soon realised she had a knack for it at age 12 when she started styling, putting makeup on her brothers and doing living room fashion shoots. In high school she designed her first dress and soon realised her calling so she took the plunge and entered FJFW10 as an emerging designer with her first collection which earned her the ‘Emerging Designer’ of the year award which took her to Sydney where she attended her first international fashion show and showed her maiden collection at ‘Tonic Lounge’.
Ash soon realised that she could start her career in fashion and ‘Sugarose’ was born.
Ash has since branched into make up and styling and has designed and styled for contestants in local pageants and she is a recent graduate of APTC gaining her Certificate III and IV in Applied Fashion Design and Cert IV. Ash is mentoring USP student Susau Elaisa.
26 year old Temesia is one of Fiji's most standout social media influencers. With a niche following he has managed to carve out a place in the industry as a creative stylist and has decided to make the transition to men's fashion.
Though this is not his first foray into the fashion industry. In 2009 he designed for Ms BSP for the Hibiscus Festival then in 2012 he showed at FJFW as an established designer.
In 2013 he moved to Kailua-Kona Hawai'i singing and doing outreach work. He attended the University of the Nations where he minored in their school of Illustration (communications) and majored in Early Childhood Education.
"I am a mens fashion lifestyle blogger that focuses on mens lifestyle, fashion and travel advocating our cultures and tradition internationally and putting Fijian fashion on a mark globally". Temesia is mentoring International School Suva student, Annie Chu
Brand: Rogue Stitch
Andrew Powell is one of Fiji's most celebrated designers. Having attained a Diploma of Fashion Design and Technology from Metropolitan South Institute of TAFE and a Diploma of Business from Canterbury Technical Institute, he returned to Fiji and his skills immediately caught the attention of local fashion garment producers.
He went on to work at Mark One Apparel as the Assistant Production Manager, before then working as General Manager at Asia Pacific Management, then Malia Clothing (the production arm of Treehouse Boutique). Since July 2017 he has been the Patternmaking Manager at Lyndhurst Limited, the production facility of global brand Kookai. He is the first Fijian to hold this position and also won the FJFW designer of the year in 2012.
Andrew's first collection which was made Australia made it's debut in Fiji after completing his diploma. Though it's been 6 years since his last collection, the wider fashion community is looking forward to what his new look will be for the season. Andrew is mentoring USP student, Peni Matea.
Brand: Samson Lee Fiji
Samson Lee launched his fashion label “Samson Lee Fiji” in 2015. His creations are inspired by the rich melting pot of traditional motifs across the Fijian cultural landscape and endemic marine life. As an emerging designer, Samson harnessed the power of online advertising and social media to carve out a niche for himself on the Fiji fashion scene.
Armed with creativity, innovation and a sturdy sewing machine, Samson Lee’s first garments were designed and sewn in his garage. The Samson Lee brand boasts a boutique in the heart of the Suva business district. He has also served on the Fashion Council of Fiji and has won the 2019 Designer of the Year award. The SL Fiji brand was also chosen by NZ Prime Minister Jacinda Arden to wear during her Fiji tour.
Samson also the co-founder of 'Wearing Fiji' is passionate about developing our fashion industry by mentoring emerging and student designers and feels that we have a close knit fashion community that can thrive if given the right opportunities and spaces to grow. Samson is mentoring International School Suva student, Sara Du.
Robert is one of Fiji's first designers to be awarded an Australian Government scholarship to study fashion. He has successfully completed an Associate Degree in Fashion Design & Technology at RMIT. He has also undertaken work placements and internships with several Melbourne based industry partners.
Founded in 2016 Kakali is a Fijian label where thoughtful, sustainable, and ethical design embraces quality tailored womenswear and menswear. With Robert's thorough technical understanding of the complexities surrounding fashion design and production, alongside the experience while studying fashion in Melbourne, Australia, Kakali offer a unique, innovative and ethical signature style.
Robert's new collection will be focusing on both menswear and womens wear with a smart relaxed resort wear look. The new collection colour palette is inspired by the Kakula parrot.
"I'm introducing a new print which evokes fun and playfulness celebrating the beautiful Kakalu in its beautiful Fijian environment"
Robert also says he is excited about the Wearing Fiji Project and it's focus on giving opportunities to collaborate with aspiring students.
"Since my return from my studies in Australia I've been passionate about connecting with young designers, its about sharing knowledge and skills with others and contributing to the growing fashion industry in Fiji"
Robert is mentoring USP Student Wati Talei Tamani.
Brand: Malia Clothing
Malia's founder and lead designer Natalia was born and raised in the Fiji Islands. Growing up on an island has instilled an innate sense of easy-going fun and tropical flair- all of which you will see in every piece in the Malia range.
Malia takes on the traditional prints and reinvents that "Bula" look to suit the modern island guy or girl. Inspired by the colours and beauty of Fiji and the South Pacific, all prints and pieces are lovingly designed to be worn and enjoyed for any occasion. Our pieces are "Made In Paradise by Friendly Fijians” and then transported to homes of the style-conscious who are looking for a fun wearable piece of island attire. Our fabric is of the highest quality and we cater to all sizes from size 8 through to size 20 in most of our styles.
The Malia brand was created to help give people the opportunity to buy, wear and enjoy our modern tropical island attire. The idea for Malia came to mind when on holiday in Hawaii, where boutiques had challenged the norm and come up with fresh ways to wear iconic tropical outfits. The name "Malia" is Polynesian, meaning 'calm or gentle waters'. The logo is flirty, fresh, and has an innate island vibe. The colour pink was chosen as it links to our founder's mother's battle with cancer. It was used as a reminder of the battle and hope for the future.
"For this years show I’ll be paying homage to Fiji celebrating Fiji’s 50 years of independence" said Larsen
Tickets are available at the Samson Lee Fiji boutique on Butt Street, Suva