An evening with Sam Tautua

Taumeasina Island Resort was the place to be last Thursday.

It was where aspiring models and those already in the fashion industry had the opportunity to gain knowledge from international Model, Sam Tautua.

In an open and honest presentation, Mr. Tautua shared the ins and outs of the industry and things he’s learned along the way.  

Here are just a few key points he shared: 


Just do it: 

“I do see in the world that people aren’t willing to take the risk and just do it.  It really is that easy. The next step might not get you to your agent or get you to London Fashion Week but it might be the step that gets you to another producer or someone that can connect you.  Every relationship is so important. I can’t stress that enough.  

“Just don’t let any sort of judgement and just do it.  Every step will move you across whether its backwards, forwards it will move  you.  Moving somewhere is better than standing still.” 



“I’m Samoan. When I started modelling in Sydney Australia, my look wasn’t out there. Our look wasn’t out there. I remember when I was discovered , I found that when I was auditioning people would say to me, “Oh you don’t have the look we want,  or your Polynesian look isn’t out there and it doesn’t sell.” 

You will get that. Rejection is part of the journey.  You will meet all this rejection. Whether you are short or too tall, we’re in an industry today where there’s  all sorts of looks.”  



“I believe an Attitude of gratitude get you everywhere. If you’re not grateful and you’re one of those people who will whine, you’re not going to make.”

Remember people are watching you.  People remember that.  Producers remember that.  They remember the energy and warmth that you give off.  They talk and they can refer you to other producers.” 

Be on Time: 

“I don’t know if island time still exist but be on time and dress impress.  Pretend your Naomi Campbell or the Rock and get out there and do your best.”  


“You are you’re own brand.  You are your own label.  You are your own sales person. You have to sell yourself to your agent to everyone and show you can sell this product. 

You show that you can sell this product, a resort, a T.V., everything.”  


Strong Support System: 

“Having a family that is there when you’re going through challenges in such a tricky industry.  It’s a very up, down, sideways industry.  It’s important to have a support system whether its your friends, your aunts and uncles.  Having a network will help you.” 

If you have friends or family members who say, “O oe fa’amagaia, who are you to be like this. Get rid of them; pop them to the side and create some space.  You need positive energy around you to forge your career.” 

And as the world moves away from the standard 6’0’’, blue eyes, blonde hair models; Mr. Tautua believes the industry is ready to embrace Polynesians.  

He said, “Coming back to Samoa, I recognize that  we don’t have a lot of Samoans in the industry.  I’ve been in Hollywood for three in a half years and I’ve not met another Samoan.  The Rock is the only reference I have to someone who’s  a celebrity. Also Auli’i (Caravahlo) she’s signed with the same acting/modelling agency as me.”  

“It tells me that the industry is ready for Polynesians. Hollywood is ready for Samoans.”

“We’re so blessed to have a unique look that’s not tapped into internationally. We can cross over to the Asian, Euro-asian, American markets. We have a mixed look and its unique.  Use it to your advantage.”  

Bg pattern light


Subscribe to Samoa Observer Online

Enjoy access to over a thousand articles per month, on any device as well as feature-length investigative articles.

Ready to signup?