With Samoa’s Inaugural Fashion Week from the 12th till the 17th September
fast approaching, the organisers yesterday signed on their first Gold Sponsor.
However already, the Samoa Arts Council is planning to take fashion far beyond our own shores to share with the rest of the world in the very near future.
The Bank South Pacific Business Manager Michelle Lemisio presented a cheque of $5,000 to the president of the Samoa Art Council Seiuli Alan Alo, and Council members Dr. Vanya Taulealo and Cecilia Keil.
“BSP is happy to announce they are coming on board as a gold sponsor for the first ever Samoa Fashion Week 2016,” said Ms. Lemisio.
“As an organization, one of our core values is helping the communities that we operate in to grow and prosper and we believe that with this modest sponsorship, we are sowing a seed for emerging designers as well as established designers of Samoa to showcase their talents.
“We would like to congratulate the President and members of the Samoa Arts Council for this great achievement.
“I know it is challenging but because of your commitment to develop and nurture the talents of our people in fashion you have made this event possible.
“We wish you all the best in your preparations.”
Seiuli acknowledge the support from the Management and staff of BSP Bank.
“I am very honoured and it is our privilege to receive this sponsorship from the BSP Bank for the development of fashion in Samoa,” said Seiuli.
“As you know fashion is very big everywhere else in the world and Samoa is now going into developing its first Inaugural Samoa Fashion Week.
“The event will start from the 12th till the 17th of September the week after Teuila and it will develop fashion from charity to forums to marketing and then to the fashion show on the 17th September.
“The money that has been donated to us by B.S.P. is highly appreciated because this is our first ever and we appeal to all corporate businesses to help and assist all the designers that are emerging in Samoa and all the established designers as well.
“Because once we break into the markets overseas, the benefits that will come will benefit Samoa all of the designers and the talented young people of Samoa.
“We at the Samoa Art Council are very appreciative of the support from the community and especially from B.S.P. who has been very much at the forefront of developing artists
“So we appeal once more to the community to assist us because there are still so many things that need to be done.”
Seiuli said to make the event an annual occasion is in the pipeline.
“This is the first one and as you can see everywhere else in the world, Fashion Week is a big event for each country. Fiji Fashion Week is a huge one too and we are continuously feeding the markets in New York, LA and places around the world so that is the impetus behind the Samoa Fashion Week. We want to get up to that level with the designers that we have,” he said.
“[And] so we do want to make that happen but it won’t happen by ourselves. It happens when there’s partnerships and support from the community and that is why we thank B.S.P. for putting up their hands first and coming in as a gold sponsor for the Fashion Week.
“Most of the big fashion houses and also emerging young people are competing and there are more than ten designers who will be in this event.”
Dr. Vanya Taulealo said one of the major focuses of the Samoa Arts Council is to increase the number of employment opportunities for the youth.
“This is something that the Prime Minister and a number of ministers have been talking about as part of Samoa’s broad strategic plans,” she said.
“We look at developing an interest in the fashion industry and we also need to emphasize the educational aspect of what a young fashion designer should go through in order to reach their goals, and also that fashion and design are a viable career pathway.
“This is very much part of why the Samoa Fashion Week is also doing two-day forum and two day market where we can offer educational programmes and information to individuals not just designers but to fabric makers to accessories makers and also give them marketing skills and simple business skills to start off with and then in the market it offers them an opportunity to showcase their designs and products.”
Cecilia Keil of Cecilia’s Fashion House said there is no doubt that for years during the Miss Samoa Pageant they have seen and witnessed a lot of very creative designers out there, but the fashions always stay here in Samoa and never go out to the world.
“So what we are doing here is we want to take the Samoa Fashion Show to overseas and international markets and I believe that’s the standard of where we are with fashion,” she said.
“[And] that is why we are doing this Fashion Week in the hopes that we are going to the Pacific Runway in Australia and also banding with other fashion.
“We have four other countries that we will band together to start this from the Pacific and with the hopes that we will take the Pacific fashion to Europe and globally - that is the ultimate gold.
“The four countries that we are working together with are Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and Samoa.