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Freedom of fashion

Ana Madigibuli
Wednesday, February 28, 2018

THE freedom of fashion and to be able to create a masterpiece that people can adore, purchase and feel comfortable in can surely drive a young individual to achieve greater dreams in life.

Joshua Waqa, a 24-year-old upcoming fashion designer who hails from Vanua Levu with maternal links to Batiki in Lomaiviti, hopes to accomplish great things in Fiji through fashion.

"I honestly don't know why I loved fashion so much at a very young age. I made sure to respect different styles of fashion that I was introduced to whether it was traditional or Western," the native of Vanua Levu said.

"I see fashion as a part of my life and it gives me happiness. I create things that people can comfortably wear and can use daily. So like many designers out there and upcoming designers I always try to think outside the box with creativity so that what we create don't get too dull in a fast growing industry.

"Towards the end of last year, I decided to pursue a profession in fashion and I've never looked back since.

"What I love the most about fashion in Fiji is the freedom it gives fashion designers to freely express themselves through their artwork, to be able to describe a meaning behind a piece and to be able to create something unique on their own."

He said fashion design had become a very competitive market for young fashion enthusiasts out there.

"I know that I would be able to create or make something that people would like and I pursued that dream until I've actually accomplished it," he said.

"I hope to take that dream further and by learning from what my clients want in their outfits has helped me realise the importance of details in what a customer wants and it's important to listen because it will make us better designers in the future.

"My dream is to one day have my own brand of clothing, with my own clothing line and outlet. This can only be achieved through hard work and taking up tough challenges in life."

Joshua said one way in which Fiji could help young fashion enthusiasts was for tertiary institutions to offer more fashion courses where raw talent could be utilised to grow the Fiji fashion industry.

"You don't have to have a lot of money in order to get somewhere. It's about doing the hard yards and pushing the boundaries of creativity that one can accomplish a lot in life," he said.

Joshua's favourite local designers are Samson Lee and Robert Kennedy while he also draws inspirations from well recognised international designers Calvin Klein, Christian Dior, Coco Chanel and Jimmy Choo.

He said when it came to fashionable celebrities, he loves Emma Watson, Beyonce, Bradley Cooper, Johnny Depp and Adam Levine's wardrobes.

Like many upcoming designers, Joshua hopes to one day see his designs on the local and international runways.

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