FIJI has the potential to earn a lot of money from fashion because culture and heritage is a strong part of our society, the Embassy of France said this week.
Embassy Cultural AttachÃ© Denis Decraene said the fashion industry in France was worth billions of dollars and the Pacific region could earn a similarly substantial income because like France, culture was important to the islands.
"France earns 32 billion EUR a year from fashion and 160,000 sustained by the industry," Mr Decraene said.
"This is the case for our country because fashion is a part of our culture and heritage. I find that it is the same in Fiji, people are passionate about their traditions here."
The Embassy of France is supporting Fiji Fashion Week by sponsoring for a French Designer, Katherine Pradeau's collection to be shown at Fiji Fashion Week.
"We are bringing in French designers because we believe a lot can be gained with an exchange of ideas." Katherine Pradeau is a Paris based designer known for designs which fuse various ethnic fashions.
"We are also bringing in a designer from Wallis & Futuna for whom coming to Fiji will be a new experience for her so it's a situation of learning from each other and enhancing each other's knowledge."
Mr Decraene said the French Embassy was happy to support cultural interaction and so assisting in bringing in French fashion designers to Fiji Fashion Week was a large part of that work.
"We believe human interaction can be done well through cultural exchange and Fiji Fashion Week is doing that well."
Oceania Communications general manager Ronna Pastorizo-Sekiguchi who are sponsors of Fiji Fashion Week echoed the French diplomats sentiments saying it was the reason behind the company's $50,000 investment in the event. "Fashion Design and Graphic design aren't too far away from each other in that both are concerned with using creative energy," Ms Pastorizo-Sekiguchi said.
Oceanic has from the inception of FJFW been responsible for the creation of flyers, brochures, templates and other marketing materials.
"In our opinion, when you encourage and assist with a creative initiative, you tend to assist in the growth of more creative initiatives and our corporate interests aside, that is good for everybody," Ms Pastorizo-Sekiguchi said.