WFJ22 Student Designer Spotlight
The Wearing Fiji Project will debut its top 5 student designers labels the Wearing Fiji Show on September 10, 2022 at the HFC Stadium.
After three years of implementing its mentorship program, the mentors are helping each student designer develop their labels from sketching garments, digital fabric printing, producing garments, pr and branding to social media marketing.
"Providing a space to mentor students has always been the goal of the project so the next generation of Fijian fashion designers can walk away with technical and practical knowledge from the most established designers in our industry" said Neisau Tuidraki, co-founder of Wearing Fiji.
Each student designer was given a small start up investment through the sponsorship of Paradise Beverages.
L.V Designs by Litiana Vere
Litiana Vere's label L.V Designs was established in 2021, its mission to boost a Pacific woman's confidence with a unique Fijian/ Pacific island touch.
The label embodies comfort and style that embraces Pacific sized women.
Litiana works part time as a translator speaking pidgin and Bislama (PNG/Vanuatu) for a research company.She has studied graphics and has yet to finish her diploma in counselling.
Litiana has a side hustle makeup business and is slowly building a hair n makeup team so she can focus on furthering and finishing studies.
She is Fijian/Samoan and has a big family of 17 siblings. She loves anything arty being at the beach and in the sea, music and food.
Duende Fiji by Sara Du
Duende Fiji (pronounced Dwen-day) is the label of Sara Du who has been in the Wearing Fiji mentoring program for three years.
In 2021 she won the Wearing Fiji Student Designer of the year award.
Duende is a sustainable pre-order womenswear brand founded in 2021 by Sara Du. After 5 years of painting, Du decided to create her own label - with the mission to reflect her art in what she loves most, clothes.
Sara is currently studying medical science at the University of Sydney while pursuing her love of art and fashion on the side.
“Art has always been a hobby of mine and with my brand I hope to showcase my art through pieces that I make”
Laboreil Fiji by Shane Pickering
Shane Pickering has been a part of our mentoring program for three years. After graduating from APTC in Fashion Design and Applied Technology, he decided to debut his brand/collection Laboriel Fiji at Fiji Fashion Week 2020. “My brand was made to make men and women feel connected to their culture through the clothes they wear, making them feel beautiful in any size, not only on the outside but inside too” said Shane. Shane is of European decent and has paternal links to the village of Lomanikoro, Rewa and his mother hails from the island of Tuvalu. He grew up in the bustling city of Suva also known as the ‘fashion capital’ of Fiji and the Pacific. Laboriel Fiji will debut a new collection at the Wearing Fiji Show.
MAAM by Maureen Mortel
Maureen has been a part of the Wearing Fiji Project for three years. In her first year she came on board as a model and applied as a student designer last year placing 2nd in our show last year.
Established in 2018, MAAM was created as a label to serve as the bridge between casual wear and high fashion. The foundation of this bridge includes versatility, flexibility and practicality. The designs of MAAM encourages wearers to showcase their own personal touch and style. MAAM’s goal is to the become the label that wearers utilise as a medium to express their own individuality.
Manase.Fiji by Manase Veiqaravi
Manase Veiqaravi is in his final year at the Fiji National University studying HR. He hails from Yanuca, Serua with maternal links to Navitileu, Ra.
His love of art began at the age of 11 and being around his grandfather who was a master carver motivated him to explore his art. He began working with paint in grade school and entered the fashion industry via a student designer show at the age of 17. Manase Fiji the label was born at the intersection of fashion and technology. Founded in 2018 the brand focuses on Fiji’s next generation of summer clothing.
The brand will provide high quality clothing perfect for summer and a wide variety of styles capturing Fiji’s unique streetwear.
The Wearing Fiji Show is on September 10 at the HFC Stadium in Suva.