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'Talent not enough'

Torika Tokalau
Wednesday, May 28, 2014

FIJIANS and Pacific Islanders have a natural talent in designing.

But Fiji Fashion Week managing director Ellen Whippy-Knight says this alone will not make a successful fashion designer and formal education will nurture and develop their raw talent.

"I have told anybody that will listen that we Fijians are such natural designers.

"Fijian people have used their hands to make things from natural elements — things like carving, masi making and so on," she said.

"But this needs harnessing and nurturing and that all comes down to education."

Ms Whippy-Knight said there were discussions with the Education Ministry to include designing in the school curriculum.

International designers such as Hani Haring and Ben Schetrit from Tahiti, Failepou Peni and Sarah Jane from Australia and fashion researcher Professor Mandy Smith from New Zealand, who are part of the 2014 FJFW, agreed at a press conference yesterday that education in fashion for designers was important for the development of the industry.

Meanwhile, tickets for the opening and closing nights have sold out.

Ms Whippy-Knight said only the Emerging Designers show had tickets available but these were also selling fast. She said people should expect cutting edge designs and garments in the Emerging Designers show.

The Fashion and Design forum officially opened the FJFW yesterday.

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