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Ali: We are Not Competing with Fashion Week

The Bottega Gold Fijian Fashion festival is not in com­petition with the Fiji Fashion Week, says chairperson of the Fashion Council of Fiji Faraz Ali. Mr Ali, who is the
03 Jun 2018 13:14
Ali: We are Not Competing with Fashion Week
Two collections by Hupfeld Hoerder showcased on the final day of the Bottega Gold Fijian Fashion Festival on June 1, 2018 at Suva’s Grand Pacific Hotel. Photo: Simione Haravanua

The Bottega Gold Fijian Fashion festival is not in com­petition with the Fiji Fashion Week, says chairperson of the Fashion Council of Fiji Faraz Ali.

Mr Ali, who is the chief organiser of the event, said that the two shows had distinct goals in the industry.

The festival ended yesterday at Suva’s Grand Pacific Hotel with a group show by 11 designers.

“It’s never been a competition. I think that people would like to be a competition but it’s not,” Mr Ali said.

“Fashion week is a private entity; it’s a limited liability company with shareholders and directors whereas the Bot­tega Gold Fijian Fashion Festival is a not-for-profit, industry-owned entity which is an initiative of the fashion council.

“That is a massive difference already because our goals are completely different. Our goals are going to be firmly indus­try development whereas the corporate, of course, can have the good intention of industry development but at the end of the day a corporate is always interested in profit.”

But the two have already clashed in at least one area.

Mr Ali said there was confusion initially about whether the two shows were the same, forcing his team to implement a strategy to better engage with the public.

“What we did essentially is that we tried to take fashion out to people to make them feel included,” he said.

“Navigating that difference was a challenge. Fashion Week also announced their dates one week before ours and that cre­ated even more market confusion.”

Elaborating on the festival’s goals, Mr Ali said the council wanted to give Fijians more exposure, while also looking at ways of growing the industry.

“For us, we are firmly focussed on the designers, on the de­velopment of Small and Medium Enterprises and ensuring that we have the very best show possible.

“We want to make sure that SMEs are given legitimacy and respect within the market place.”

Feedback: sheldon.chanel@fijisun.com.fj



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