The fallacy of the plus-size industry

In this week’s ‘For Style’s Sake’, we explore the fallacy of the plus-size industry and whether inclusivity is nothing but smoke and mirrors.

The fallacy of the plus-size industry (Pulse)

For Style’s Sake explores the fallacy of the burgeoning plus-size industry and examines whether plus-size models are a true representation of ‘the average woman’ or whether we have just been sold another dream parading as ‘the answer’.

For years, plus-size women were marginalised by the mainstream fashion industry despite a large percentage of women worldwide being over a US size 10. According to a study from the International Journal of Fashion Design, Technology and Education, the average American woman is between a size 16 to 18.

As society progressed and more marginalised groups are refusing to be ignored any longer, we noticed a shift and now brands are striving to be inclusive but how plus-size is plus-size?

According to the industry, plus-size is anything above a size 8. The majority of plus size models are no bigger than a UK size 12 and brands are projecting an image of largess that in reality isn’t very big at all. Again, bigger women find themselves of on the fringe of the very industry designed for them, or so they are told.

Years ago, plus-size women the world over struggled to find stylish, on-trend clothing. The fashion industry clung to the notion that bigger women just were not interested in fashion and brands, both high-street and high-end seldom catered for the demographic and those that did, did not provide anything fashion-forward. A subculture grew from the sheer frustration at the lack of options for bigger women and that’s how to plus-size fashion industry really grew its wings.

Plus-size brands began to spring up that catered solely to bigger women and not just any type of clothing, but clothing that closely mirrored what we saw in magazines and on models. It was such a powerful statement for the plus-size community who declared that their size had no bearing on their taste and the type of clothing they wanted to wear.

The plus-size industry thrived.

Mango launches plus-size range Violeta using ‘plus-size’ models (Mango)

Mainstream brands, keen to key into burgeoning markets noticed this and turned their attention to it. Slowly but surely, brands began to release plus-size capsule collections, first dipping their toes to test the waters. It was more lucrative than they could have possibly imagined.

On runways, in stores, even in the pages of style bibles such as Vogue magazinethe plus-size woman is finally getting some fashion respect, not because the industry has decided it’s OK to be big, but because it can no longer afford to ignore her. Retailers must find ways to grow and this is an irresistible market for them to tap into.

Plus-size model Ashley Graham bags the cover of UK Vogue shot by renowned photographer Patrick Demarchelier (Vogue)

However, it has quickly became clear that whilst they were projecting the idea of inclusivity, these brands talking the talk but not walking the walk.

There of course has been a paradigm shift somewhat, though not enough, as darker-skinned models, like Philomena Kwao, have not only found work but have also been massively successful in a market that was easing into the mainstream. Today the plus-size industry has, in many ways, eclipsed the fashion industry overall in its diversity and inclusivity. However, those stories are few and far between and for the most part, the plus-size industry has been merely co-opted by the main fashion industry and is trying to push a narrative that is not very far removed from the days of old.

The majority of plus-size models that are being promoted as such are barely above a size 12. The industry has managed to pervert what it means to be a plus-size model and are possibly causing more harm than good for the plus-size community. Women, looking at adverts are expecting to see models that they can finally relate to and in reality are seeing models who further compound their body image issues and cause them to question where exactly they belong, if anywhere at all.

Alex LaRosa, a self-proclaimed “plus-size model who’s visibly plus-size,” appeared on Huffpost Live to talk about some of her issues with these discrepancies:

In a world where you’re telling women that plus-size is sizes 4 and up, you’re causing body image issues. You’re causing unrealistic expectations that everyone, every woman, should be a size 4. To bring that into the plus-size community, where you’re using sizes 8, 10 and 12, when sometimes the stores don’t even start carrying the clothes until size 14, you’re telling women, ‘You want to look like these models. This is what you should look like, but it’s never going to happen.

Plus-size model Alex LaRosa
Plus-size model Alex LaRosa (Alex LaRosa)

The sad truth is plus-sized models’ bodies are headed in the opposite direction of actual plus-size women’s bodies.

Speaking to online platform The Revelist, plus-size model Tess Holliday spoke about how far the industry needs to go to recognise real women with different body shapes as well as sizes. She said:

I’m part of one of those under-represented, unseen groups: plus-size women. And I’m incredibly proud to be the first woman of my size (size 22) to be signed to a major modelling agency, and recognise that it was a milestone for an industry that is typically focused on thinness.

But right now, even in the plus-size part of the modelling world, there isn’t a ton of diversity in body shapes. Most plus-size models are taller than 5’8”, a size 10 or 12, and have an hourglass shape. Where are the other bodies with the shape of a blueberry, like mine? And where are the women with small busts or small butts?  

Change will only come, to models and beyond, if women keep demanding it.

Plus-size model and body positive activist Tess Holliday

Indeed, the plus-size industry has a long way to go to actually capture what it means to be a true plus-size woman. For many women who thought this movement would be the beginning of the end of years of otherness have found themselves once again, excluded.

Thanks to social media, voices reach further and the people have a platform to push their narratives and as Tess Holliday suggested, change will only come if it’s demanded.

The fashion industry might never be what we need it to be for every individual which is why it important that we understand the importance of creating our own narratives and being the change we wish to see.

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Red carpet looks that dazzled Cannes

Actresses proved you can protest while being beautifully dressed (AFP Photo/LOIC VENANCE)

Actresses proved you can protest while being beautifully dressed

 

 

Cate Blanchett's spectacular blue Mary Katrantzou ball gown that took six months to make (AFP Photo/Valery HACHE)

Cate Blanchett’s spectacular blue Mary Katrantzou ball gown that took six months to make

Black and mixed-race French actresses lit up Cannes protesting the discrimination and stereotyping they have suffered (AFP Photo/Alberto PIZZOLI)

Black and mixed-race French actresses lit up Cannes protesting the discrimination and stereotyping they have suffered

Spike Lee dusted down his Love and Hate knuckleduster rings from "Do the Right Thing" for his "BlacKkKlansman" premiere (AFP Photo/Anne-Christine POUJOULAT            )

Spike Lee dusted down his Love and Hate knuckleduster rings from “Do the Right Thing” for his “BlacKkKlansman” premiere

Jury member Kristen Stewart threw off her stilettos and walked barefoot along the red carpet (AFP Photo/Valery HACHE)

Jury member Kristen Stewart threw off her stilettos and walked barefoot along the red carpet

Bollywood star Aishwarya Rai's peacock and butterfly-style gown had the longest train seen on the red carpet (AFP Photo/Anne-Christine POUJOULAT)

Bollywood star Aishwarya Rai’s peacock and butterfly-style gown had the longest train seen on the red carpet

Japanese actress Erika Karata had to be rescued twice by her co-stars when she got her heel stuck in her dress (AFP Photo/Valery HACHE)

Japanese actress Erika Karata had to be rescued twice by her co-stars when she got her heel stuck in her dress

 

 

Cannes (France) (AFP) – With two powerful protests by female stars calling for equal pay and treatment, the red carpet at the Cannes film festival — which ends Sunday — was about much more than fashion statements.

But that did not dim the glamour of the gala premieres. We look back on 12 days and nights of glitz, as well as the occasional wardrobe malfunction, on the French Riviera.

– Who’s wearing the trousers? –

The Cannes red carpet has seen a lot in 71 years. But few nights will live longer in the memory than the one when female stars led by jury president Cate Blanchett protested about the festival’s epic fail when it comes to women directors. All but 82 films of the near 1,700 shown at Cannes over the years have been by men.

This was also possibly the best-dressed demo in history, with Kristen Stewart rocking a white Chanel trouser suit and many others following #MeToo protests elsewhere by dressing in black. This was a Cannes where women wore the trousers — once frowned upon by the festival’s dress code — with Blanchett killing it with a black Givenchy jumpsuit for the premiere of “Capernaum”.

– Queen Cate –

No one does regal better than Blanchett who made her name playing British monarch Elizabeth I. Her intelligence and poise gave the festival a new sheen, from her speech at the protest to her insistence that the jury will chose the best film, not the one that best fits the political narrative.

Her wardrobe choices were equally impeccable at more than a dozen galas. Two black Armani numbers contrasted with an intricate avant-garde Iris van Herpen dress. And she brought the house down with a spectacular blue Mary Katrantzou ball gown that took six months to make. The dress also delivered the cutest photo of the festival when her daughter hid under her skirts as she left her hotel room.

– Black is back –

Black and mixed-race French actresses showed how to be angry and elegant in their protest on the red carpet about the shocking discrimination and stereotyping they have suffered. Dressed in Balmain they lit up Cannes on the wettest night of the festival and were clapped up the carpet by jury member Khadja Nin.

The Burundian singer has given Blanchett a run for her money with some seriously sassy wax print dresses and headwraps while Spike Lee dusted down his Love and Hate knuckleduster rings from “Do the Right Thing” for his “BlacKkKlansman” premiere.

– Kicking ass barefoot –

After “Heelgate” in 2015 when women were stopped on the red carpet for not wearing high heels, Cannes “sexist” dress code — since revised — took a bit of a kicking this year with jury member Kristen Stewart throwing off her stilettos and walking barefoot up the steps for “BlacKkKlansman”.

A few nights later she ground convention further into the dust with an androgynous black Chanel jacket and leather trousers and loafers. Italian director Alice Rohrwacher, whose quirky “Happy as Lazzaro” is in the running for the Palme d’Or top prize, took gender reversal to a new level by wearing a man’s shirt backwards for her press conference.

– Butterfly gothic –

Indian icon Aishwarya Rai and Iranian actress Marziyeh Rezaei wore two of the most photographed dresses — for very different reasons. The train of the Bollywood’s star’s peacock/butterfly Michael Cinco dress was the longest seen on the red carpet for many a year, while Rezaei’s was a spectacularly modest shimmering tulle number channelling the most gothic of fairytales.

– A slight snag… –

And you have to feel sorry for the super chic Japanese actress Erika Karata who had to be rescued not once but twice by her co-stars from “Asako 1 & 2” when she got her heel stuck in her dress on the famous Cannes red carpet.

Paris Hilton shines in gold gown while showing off engagement ring at Cannes Fashion For Relief gala

Paris Hilton wowed in a gold sleeveless gown on Sunday night at the Cannes Fashion For Relief gala.

The 37-year-old Hilton heiress, who came dripping in diamonds, showed off her 20-carat, pear shaped engagement ring on the red carpet.

Fashion For Relief is a non-profit organization, lead by supermodel Naomi Campbell, that raises money for various causes.

Pretty princess: Paris Hilton wowed in a gold sleeveless gown by Christophe Guillarme on Sunday night at the Cannes Fashion For Relief gala

Pretty princess: Paris Hilton wowed in a gold sleeveless gown by Christophe Guillarme on Sunday night at the Cannes Fashion For Relief gala

What a rock: The 37-year-old Hilton heiress, who came dripping in diamonds, showed off her 20-carat, pear shaped engagement ring on the red carpet

What a rock: The 37-year-old Hilton heiress, who came dripping in diamonds, showed off her 20-carat, pear shaped engagement ring on the red carpet

Bling: Paris couldn't stop staring at her massive diamond 

Bling: Paris couldn’t stop staring at her massive diamond

The evening of glitz and glamour included a guest list of over 1,000 people.

Attendees enjoyed dinner, live entertainment, an auction, and a fashion show.

Hilton, who traveled to Cannes with fiance Chris Zylka, flew solo for the event.

Giving back: Fashion For Relief is a non-profit organization, lead by supermodel Naomi Campbell, that raises money for various causes

Giving back: Fashion For Relief is a non-profit organization, lead by supermodel Naomi Campbell, that raises money for various causes

All smiles: Hilton paired her ring with a diamond watch and choker  

All smiles: Hilton paired her ring with a diamond watch and choker

Cannes club: Paris is set to host and DJ a party at the VIP Room on Monday night in France 

Paris is set to host and DJ a party at the VIP Room on Monday night.

She made her DJ debut back in June 2012 and currently has a residency at Amnesia nightclub in Ibiza.

‘My first show was in Brazil. Like 30,000 people, closing for Jennifer Lopez, it was so much fun,’ she told Billboard in an interview.

‘I loved it so much that after that I really just got more into it. I’ve just been having the time of my life. I didn’t realize what a huge success I would be.’

Front row: The evening of glitz and glamour included a guest list of over 1,000 people

Front row: The evening of glitz and glamour included a guest list of over 1,000 people

Do a twirl: Paris, who traveled to Cannes with fiance Chris Zylka, flew solo for the event 

Do a twirl: Paris, who traveled to Cannes with fiance Chris Zylka, flew solo for the event

Fashion For Relief: Attendees enjoyed dinner, live entertainment, an auction, and a fashion show throughout the evening 

Fashion For Relief: Attendees enjoyed dinner, live entertainment, an auction, and a fashion show throughout the evening

The Simple Life star is in the process of planning her wedding to Zylka, 32.

During the iHeartRadio Music Awards, she revealed to ET that the pair plan to tie the knot later this year, but noted that picking a date has proved difficult due to her large family.

‘First we have the engagement party, the bridal party, and then the wedding,’ she said. ‘We’re still picking a date that’s perfect for everyone in the family. My brother is getting married in June so we’re gonna separate a few more months after that.’

You Won’t Believe These 11 Chic Dresses Are Less Than $60 — Seriously!

Wear this pretty H&M Dress With Buttons ($40) with your favorite white sneakers.

You’ll want to live in this H&M Kaftan Dress ($35) all season long.

 

You can also get this H&M Patterned Wrap-Front Dress ($25) in yellow or black.

This lightweight H&M V-Neck Dress ($25) is great for hot weather.

Animal-print-lovers, this H&M Balloon-Sleeved Dress ($60) is for you.

You can wear this delicate H&M Lace Dress ($50) to a wedding this Summer.

 

 

Dress up this H&M Striped Wrap-Front Dress ($60) with chic mules.

 

You can wear this versatile H&M Dress With Smocking ($30) to work, date night, and beyond.

 

 

 

You can wear this versatile H&M Dress With Smocking ($30) to work, date night, and beyond.

 

This H&M Dress With Eyelet Embroidery ($60) is all about the back.

Go for a denim look and get this H&M Lyocell Dress ($40).

Meet the Brand That’s Making Your Dream Spring Dresses a Reality

Spring Dresses from LoveShackFancy

It feels like we wait for warm weather all Winter long. We dream of all the places we’re going to go and the outfits we’re going to wear, when a giant coat is no longer necessary. Now that this day is finally here, live out those daydreams in a dress by one of our favorite new designers, LoveShackFancy. The clothes are romantic, playful, and feminine, so basically every Spring vibe you’re trying to channel. They can be worn as vacation dresses, party dresses, day dresses, or whatever-you-want dresses. In short, these are dresses you’re going to want to wear, and we wish you luck in picking a favorite.

Meghan Markle’s wedding dress: The shortlist

Meghan Markle’s choice of designer for her royal wedding gown will be as much an expression of her personality as her fashion tastes. The question is, which route will she take? Will she nod to royal tradition, wearing a designer endorsed by Queen Elizabeth? Declare herself a rebel with a fantastical gown by an emerging talent? Or perhaps embrace her image as the people’s princess with something from a more accessible designer?
Though preliminary sketches from Israeli designer Inbal Dror were leaked by TMZ in December (Dror confirmed that she was approached by the royal family about potentially dressing Markle), the selected designer’s identity will likely remain a heavily guarded secret until the nuptials on May 19. But that fact hasn’t quelled speculation, with bookies, biographers and so-called insiders putting in their two cents.
Stewart Parvin Couture Bridal Collection

Stewart Parvin Couture Bridal Collection Credit: Courtesy Stewart Parvin
Katie Nicholl, a long-time royal correspondent and author of “Harry: Life, Loss and Love,” believes Markle will ultimately make a more conservative choice.
“I know that the smart money — as far as the bookies are concerned — is on Stewart Parvin, who is one of the queen’s dressers. That would be a very, very clever choice if it is true,” Nicholl told InStyle in March. “I think it’d be a clever choice because it would get her brownie points with the queen and certainly with the London fashion brigades.”
Parvin, who was made a member of the Royal Victorian Order in 2016, has dressed the queen for over a decade. As for his bridalwear, it is understated and elegant, which may appeal to the soon-to-be royal. Speaking to Glamourin 2016, when her Suits character Rachel Zane was meant to be getting married, Markle said: “Classic and simple is the name of the game, perhaps with a modern twist. I personally prefer wedding dresses that are whimsical or subtly romantic.”
Erdem Spring-Summer 2017

Erdem Spring-Summer 2017 Credit: Ki Price/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images
Her penchant for the romantic is one reason why award-winning Canadian-born designer Erdem Moralioglu is considered a likely choice — so likely that, as recently as December, the British betting company Ladbrokes placed the odds at 2/1. Based in London, the designer is known for his hyper-feminine, ethereal dresses and signature florals.
Markle wore a maxi dress from his pre-fall 2017 collection to a wedding in Jamaica with Prince Harry last March, and referenced him as “a designer I’ve been wearing for years” in her September 2017 Vanity Fair profile.
Roland Mouret Spring-Summer 2018

Roland Mouret Spring-Summer 2018 Credit: Tristan Fewings/BFC/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images for The British Fashion Council
But for all its weight, the wedding is still a personal occasion, and there is a chance Meghan will turn to one of her many designer friends to dress her on the day. French designer Roland Mouret, who is also based in London, has been friends with Markle since they met in hotel elevator in Istanbul years ago, and she’s worn his fitted, contemporary dresses on a number of occasions.
But when pressed by WWD about his involvement February, Mouret demurred: “Mmmmm, I don’t want to say. No comment. It’s … there is no comment on that. She’s a friend. And that’s … I can’t say.”
(It’s worth noting that Sarah Burton, creative director of Alexander McQueen, persistently denied that she was designing Kate Middleton’s dress up until the day of the wedding, when it was revealed that she had, in fact, designed the dress.)
Ralph & Russo Haute Couture Autumn-Winter 2017

Ralph & Russo Haute Couture Autumn-Winter 2017 Credit: Peter White/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images
New York-based designer Misha Nonoo, a close friend rumored to have introduced Prince Harry to Markle in 2016, is also considered a contender, but it seems unlikely: Nonoo’s style veers more cocktail party than wedding chapel.
Several other British designers, including Kate Middleton-approved Jenny Packham, Victoria Beckham, and, unsurprisingly, Burton are also contenders at the bookies. But the most compelling option is Ralph & Russo, Britain’s only haute couture house.
Markle wore an exquisite black-and-gold gown by designers Tamara Ralph and Michael Russo in her breathtaking engagement photos released in December. The engagement dress, part of the house’s autumn-winter 2018 collection, had a reported $75,000 price tag, and one of the brand’s dresses can take up to 300 hours to make.
But regardless of who emerges victorious, they are guaranteed to cause an international frenzy. On May 19, Markle’s life will be forever changed, and the same can be said for her designer of choice.

Fashion Never Sleeps

Fashion Never Sleeps

Aisea Konrote is by far one of the free spirited person you would ever meet.  One of Fiji’s renowned fashion designer with the brand Hefrani he will be featuring in this year’s Bottega Gold Fijian Fashion Festival.

Another young but experienced designer Tiana Vono will be showcasing her brand ‘VONO’ in the Moana Category at the Festival. So it’s an exciting mix…

Read on as we ask Aisea and Tiana about their experiences in the fashion industry.

 

Aisea Konrote

Aisea is one of the designers that will be displaying an 80-piece collection exclusively at a solo designer show at this years Bottega Gold Fijian Fashion Festival. His collection will feature in the Legendary Designer category at the festival and includes a wide range of garments including kaftans, saris, kurtas and sulu chambers; keeping respectability and the cultural elements of it but also designing for the ‘new’ person. The ‘Hefrani’ by Aisea Konrote solo show is bound to be 4 segments of explosive fashion.

Read on as we ask Aisea about his experiences in the fashion industry.

Tell us a bit about yourself and your background.

All I can say is that I am a free-spirited person who isn’t usually a fan of rules and regulations. My previous collections will testify to this.

How did you first get interested in Fashion?

Through my mother—a beautiful and glamorous woman who happened to be a seamstress as well. I practically grew up at the base of her sewing machine and the interest germinated.

What is your definition of fashion?

Beauty and Comfortability (or vice-versa)

What motivates you as a fashion designer?

A rich island environment and the ability to create some unique and great pieces are motivational enough.

How do you stay up-to-date with fashion?

I don’t. I believe in myself and tend to listen to my instincts more than trends.

Where do you see yourself/your brand in 10 years time?

10 years ago (in 2008), I created a 10-year plan for myself with great objectives, which I have managed to achieve. This year, I’ve created another 10-year plan with greater objectives, which I know, can be accomplished with blessings and hard work.

If you could go back and tell yourself one thing before beginning your career, what would it be?

Beware of the snakes in the green pastures.

What was the biggest rookie mistake you made when just starting out?

Had the opportunity to be a Costume Designer for a Production and I turned up on rehearsal day with Red Carpet/Fashion Runway pieces—meanwhile, the scenes were all set in the rural areas. Lesson learnt—LISTEN!

What drew you to show your designs at the Fijian Fashion Festival?

The ability to have my own solo show where designs are not rushed down the runway.

My vision, story, style and colour will complement the designs on the runway. These will bring my designs alive.

What do you do in your free time?

There are three things that I do in my free time:

Reading—just reread ‘The Broker’ by John Grisham.

Watching movies.

Having a red wine…or two with close friends and family.

What are some comments that you’ve received that sound like compliments but are actually insults?

“You’re a fashion designer”—the intonation was enough to confirm that it came from the depths of hell.

If you could choose only one song to play every time you walked into a room for the rest of your life, what would it be?

“Mehbooba” from the movie Sholay because it has mystical and melodious beats and rhythms originating from a gypsy vibe with feelings of liberation and sensuality.

 

Tiana Vono

‘VONO’ by Tiana Vono is another showstopper set to walk the runway at the Bottega Gold Fijian Fashion Festival.

The Moana Category consists of visiting designers who have come on board to showcase their designs.

Tell us a bit about yourself and your background?

My name is Tiana Vono, I’m 22- years-old and I was born and raised in Sydney, Australia but I’m originally from Naivakacau in Tailevu.

I currently work as a stylist and I also manage a menswear-clothing store while at the same time running and establishing my VONO brand and business.

How did you first get interested in Fashion?

I can’t remember a time where I first took interest in fashion or made a decision to become a designer.

It’s kind of something that’s always been with me. It’s a gift that everyone is born with and how you choose to utilise that gift is up to you. I had to step into the unknown with this one but I haven’t looked back since.

What is your definition of fashion?

Well everyone has a different take on fashion. This is primarily because we each have a personal connection with fashion and experience it differently. I see fashion the same way I see art—I see the story and the message.

What motivates you as a fashion designer?

WOMEN motivate me. Women of colour particularly. There’s something so magical about black women.

How do you stay up-to-date with fashion?

I actually don’t stay up to date with fashion trends, which is really bad I guess.

In my defence though, the 80s and 90s are where I draw my inspiration from for a lot of the pieces I design. So I’m constantly researching and reading into that era—not just about fashion but also with music, art and poetry.

Where do you see yourself/your brand in 10 years time?

Hopefully in 10 years time, my business is internationally established and where I want it to be. It’s all about hard work and consistency With the right attitude, anything is possible! I still have a long way to go but I’m appreciating the journey.

If you could go back and tell yourself one thing before beginning your career, what would it be?

If I could go back and tell myself something, I would tell myself that’s “it’s all worth it”! I missed out on a lot of things as a young teen, didn’t get to do a lot of things my friends at the time were doing! I was in University, working and doing internships while trying to plan out and work towards my business. At the time I kind of hated myself and wanted to just drop everything.

But I look back now and it was definitely all worth it in the end.

What was the biggest rookie mistake you made when just starting out?

The biggest mistake I made was time management! There’s no time to waste when working in a business, as there are standards & deadlines to meet.

I learnt this the hard way! Crazy fact my entire collection flew in from Fiji a day before a fashion show I was showcasing at! Yeah, never again.

What drew you to show your designs at the Fijian Fashion Festival?

I chose to showcase at the Bottega Gold Fijian Fashion Festival because I really loved their vision for designers! It’s something new; it’s fun! They’re bringing a whole different culture of fashion to Fiji.

I think they have a great team behind them and I’m honored to have been given the opportunity to put up my designs on this platform!

What do you do in your free time?

In my free time I like to read and paint. I’ve just recently been on a health kick so working out is also on the list. I don’t get a lot of free time but when I have a big chunk of it, honestly I just sleep!

What are some comments that you’ve received that sound like compliments but are actually insults?

I haven’t received any insults—YET! Most comments I get usually lean towards improvement or things I could’ve changed and I usually take that all on board as constructive feed back.

If you could choose only one song to play every time you walked into a room for the rest of your life, what would it be?

My song would have to be “Sumthin Sumthin” by Maxwell! He’s just so fly and so cool and his music is timeless. You can feel his soul and rhythm; it’s my forever track!

Any Advice for aspiring designers?

My advice is to take that leap of faith and just go with it! It’s not easy and there’s definitely many obstacles and set backs; but that all comes down to you and how bad you want it.  It’s achievable with the right mindset. There’s so much room in this industry! Once you take that step out of your comfort zone, you’re half way there!

The Bottega Gold Fijian Fashion Festival is posed to take place on the 1st and 2nd of June, 2018 at the Grand Pacific Hotel in Suva—the home of the Fijian Fashion Festival.

The festival is an initiative of the Fashion Council of Fiji.