Strong brand

From left: Fijian designer Michael Mausio, Fiji Fashion Week (FJFW) ambassador Nicholas Huxley and FJFW2018 show producer, FJFW managing director Ellen Whippy Knight and FJFW2018 event stylist Neil Foon. Picture: FOTOFUSION

From left: Fijian designer Michael Mausio, Fiji Fashion Week (FJFW) ambassador Nicholas Huxley and FJFW2018 show producer, FJFW managing director Ellen Whippy Knight and FJFW2018 event stylist Neil Foon. Picture: FOTOFUSION

FIJI Fashion Week celebrated its 10th anniversary last year and produced one of its best ever fashion shows.

At the same time, Fiji Fashion Week Ltd’s managing director Ellen Whippy-Knight announced an intention to step back to spend more time with her family and other business interests.

“There was no doubt though that Fiji Fashion Week itself would always continue. We had external interest in buying out the brand Fiji Fashion Week and in particular a consortium from the Fashion Council of Fiji.

“Unfortunately, deep into negotiations, it became apparent that they didn’t share our vision; we couldn’t reach an agreement on the value of the brand,” Ms Whippy-Knight said.

“As luck would have it, almost immediately an exciting opportunity developed to partner with the newly formed Fashion Designers Alliance of Fiji and that is why I have decided to stay on as managing director.

“Actually, it was an easy decision. I adore the Fijian fashion industry and I have invested heavily from both personal and financial perspectives. I couldn’t bear it if Fiji Fashion Week found itself with the wrong steward.

“My family have been good about me continuing. They know it’s my baby and they like to see me happy and I’m happiest when I’m busy working on Fiji Fashion Week!”

A high-profile and international event such as Fiji Fashion Week has a direct and positive impact on the broader community and economic development as it supports designers, stylists, fabric wholesalers and retailers, models, photographers, hair and make-up artists, tailors, factories, pattern-makers, venues, accommodation providers, event managers, numerous administrative staff, small and local businesses, vehicle hire, air travel, food and beverage companies and suppliers — the supply chain list is long.

This year’s event will be presented in association with the Fashion Designers Alliance of Fiji. Fiji Fashion Week is aligning itself with the designers alliance as the peak representative body of Fijian designers.

“We do our best to have a positive impact on the broader community but our designers are everything to us and it just makes so much sense to have the Alliance presenting our 2018 shows. They deserve to be influential in shaping the show and steering it into the future and that’s what this partnership is all about, creating a show for designers by designers,” said Ms Whippy-Knight.

The next Fiji Fashion Week designer training workshop continues into its third phase on March 27 to 29 at the National Training and Productivity Centre at FNU Nabua. It will again be conducted by Nicholas Huxley, Sydney’s iconic fashion educator and the producer of the 2018 FJFW show.

“Whatever we do, we want it to be world-class. Nicholas meets that test and he has a heartfelt affinity for Fiji and the Pacific having been born in PNG himself. We’re so lucky to have him on board,” Ms Whippy-Knight said.

Fiji Fashion Week returns with a new look and an exciting line up of established and emerging designers. Entry to Fiji Fashion Week is closed with all designer spots now filled.

“It is also pleasing to see our loyal and new sponsors showing support to Fiji Fashion Week’s ongoing work in its 11th year.”

As the impetus in the modernisation of the fashion industry in Fiji and the Pacific, FJFW remains at the forefront having introduced programs and initiatives which are now deeply imbedded as part of the fashion landscape sealing its widely recognised position as the pacesetter and ongoing leader in this field, the Pacific region’s premier fashion event.

Fiji Fashion Week will be held May Friday 25 and Saturday 26 at the FMF Gym in Suva. Tickets will go on sale Monday April 2.