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Rabuka has big plans for fashion design

Rabuka has big plans for fashion design
Designer Ana Rabuka.
July 06
22:07 2017

Ana Rabuka doesn’t believe in fashion awards but believes in hardwork.

Ms Rabuka is originally from the Village of Vuna on the beautiful Garden Island of Taveuni in Vanua Levu. She is the founder of Project Taveuni Fashion show.

Her label Stylosophy Creations Fiji showcases some vibrant colours.

“We happened to host a charity fashion show last year right after Tropical Cyclone Winston,” Ms Rabuka said.

“So all the proceeds collected from the show went to the three villages on the southern part of Taveuni from school stationery, farm tools, kitchen utensils, bedroom linens, washing and dishwashing products, diapers for babies, cooking pots you name it.

“When the villagers sent me photos of what they’ve received and their words of acknowledgement, it hit me hard.

“I was proud of myself and all those involved that we had stood up together to make a difference in those people’s lives.

“It was a tough time for all of us in Fiji and for me it was such a huge relief that there was no loss of lives in my village.

“Hats off to our Government and other non-government-organisations who are doing their best in helping TC Winston victims continue to rebuild their lives.”

 

How did you know that you wanted to be a fashion designer?

Designing has been always a part of me.

Growing up as a kid I always love drawing. I am always inspired by the surroundings that is the flowers, trees, sea shells on the beach and so forth.

When I started travelling I got inspired with the culture and colours of places I visited. So wherever I go it’s a must for me to visit their local souvenir markets where I can find fabrics and accessories.

In a few countries that I’ve visited I’ve actually had local tailors stitch my designs with the fabrics I bought from their market.

 

What’s excites you about the

fashion industry?

The fashion industry in Fiji is still growing every year.

For a designer to make a living in this industry we need to learn together with some basic business ideas which can help us keep proceeding and operating.

Business ideas of how to calculate fabric, production cost, our margins that will give us a profit.

Also how to be a great sales and marketing person, of course this is where your personality comes in. Also you should know your target market etc.

Fashion design itself is exciting and when you have the people whom you share the same passion with, it gets more exciting.

In the sense that you can exchange ideas and update each other on what’s new on the market from your side and their end.

 

What distinguishes your design from other designers?

Before making a new collection, I do my research and in my research I will have to make sure that from my inspiration what I will be creating will be unique and my original based on the prints and design.

And so far I know that those who follow our fashion industry here in Fiji can easily pick out my collection.

 

How do you produce and distribute your designs?

I started off with one tailor, now I’ve got six and I know exactly which one to use for which orders.

They’re all qualified machinists and I am very appreciative of all the things they do.

You can see some of my designs at the Essence of Fiji on Nadi Back road.

I have also been offered to retail my designs at another boutique at Port Denarau and it will also be distributed to a few island resort boutiques very soon.

Do you scope out the competition?

I don’t believe in those fashion awards. I know that all designers despite the category they’re classed in, we are unique in our individual designs.

Everyone works hard with their collection, so we are winners but the most important thing is for every designer to make money out of their designs.

 

What do you enjoy most and the least about your job?

I don’t only do fashion design, I used to work for an interior design company which covers executive home, resort, hotel and corporate offices and so on.

When it comes to interior and exterior décor colour contrasting and design jigsaw is my thing.

With designing there’s nothing that’s lack interesting because you’re always up to match things ie design, colours, furnitures, soft furnishings, uniforms and many more. The least that anyone can enjoy is not making any profit but apart from that if you’re hooked in a great contract you’re good.

 

Once you have the product, how do you get the word out?

Mostly on social media! And Fiji Fashion Week have been a great marketing platform for us designers.

It is as an annual event and there are people all over the world who are always having an eye out on what’s new coming out of the FJFW Catwalk especially our Fijian communities around the globe. I use social media all the time. Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

I can’t wait to have my designs out on island resort boutiques. I am mostly into resort wear as tourism is one of the major income earner for our country.

 

How do you think the fashion industry in Fiji can improve?

Every year the fashion industry is improving. We can be steadfast in our growth with any help from government that will help us progress with our business.

It can be in the forms of small business loan scheme and also push for institutions to create more programmes and courses on fashion studies.

 

What are you future plans?

Future plans probably for my designs to cover boutiques Fiji wide.

Feedback: maraia.vula@fijisun.com.fj

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