The best of both worlds

Hanisi with mum Selina Samisoni-Duff. Picture: SUPPLIED

HANISI Hodge likes to think she has the best of both worlds from her parents.

Her mother being of Rotuman and Lau heritage while her father is from Anguilla Island in the Caribbean.

“I spent more time growing up in the Caribbean Islands because it’s closer to the US so like I knew that side of my family very well but Fiji always remained a mystery to me,” she shared.

“Since coming to Fiji, I just felt like I understood myself more. Everything just made sense,” she said.

Hanisi had moved to Fiji from the state of Virginia in the US with her mother in 2014 so she could get to meet her mother’s family and explore her Fijian heritage.

For those who may recognise her, she once modelled at the Fiji Fashion Festival last year.

“It was straight after high school, when I decided to come home for a bit and just get to know the culture and to see what it’s like to live in another country. I’ve loved it here it’s the best and I don’t want to go back,” she said smiling.

Hanisi is the events co-ordinator for the inaugural National Designer Awards under Fashion Council of Fiji.

The first ever National Designer Awards is expected to be held on Friday, November 23.

“We have 10 nominees who will be competing for the four categories which include Designer of the Year, Budding Designer of the Year, Fashion Media of the Year, Textile Designer of the Year and a special Chairman’s Award which will be presented to any outstanding member of the fashion industry,” she said.

“It’s about uplifting our local designers and giving them a platform to be recognised for their hard work. Its also about taking the fashion industry forward.”

“Fiji definitely has so much potential to be a global exporter of fashion and arts in general.

“Pacific Islanders have a creative culture; we have traditional performing arts culture like music, dancing, design, tapa design, mat design…it’s all in our DNA, we have so much potential to export it to the rest of the world. We just need to own it and package it well.

“I feel like the world loves what we have to offer and even back in the states when I go back to visit or even Europe or Australia I see imprints of our culture everywhere even tropical prints and Pacific people with tattoos.

“I feel our culture is what the rest of the world loves but it is not recognised as ours, which is why we need to do more in terms of marketing it,” said the 22-year-old.

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