International model leads the catwalk parade at Samoa Fashion Week gala

joyetter@samoanews.com

From the catwalks of Paris, England, Europe, Singapore, Malaysia, New Zealand and Australia, international model Sarika Young added the catwalk in Samoa to her resume, as she sashayed during the Samoa’s Arts Council Fashion show over the weekend.

This was the highlight of Fashion week in Samoa, the first event of its kind where close to 20 fashion practitioners, models, artists and experts in the field of fashion dialogued on taking Samoa’s fashion to the next level.

Sarika, the owner-director of “For The Moment (FTM) a model agency out of Australia was among those who were guest speakers at the forum where she gave tips to Samoa’s young emerging models. She told Samoa News that she “provided some insights to the emerging models and shared her experience and knowledge with the young model.

Serika has 15 years of modeling experience, comes from an artistic and performing arts background — professional model, choreographer and runway teacher. She has great first hand understanding of the fashion industry through her many years of personal experience. She pointed out that the main thing, and her “secret” when on the catwalk, is confidence. 

“The main thing is to have that inner confidence in yourself. It does not matter what size, how tall or short one is, as long as you are confident, and the first time is always scary and intimidating.” She told Samoa News that her passion for fashion led her to Samoa, the second Pacific island she’s been to aside from Fiji.  She’s Fijian and Indian on her mother’s side and her father is Australian.

Asked what she hopes to take back to Australia, Sarika said, “A little bit of the Samoan culture, and I am very impressed by the love, friendliness and the beautiful attitude of the Samoan people and I am very impressed with the caliber of the Samoan people.”

She also expressed her love for the different fabrics in Samoa and the efforts of the designers. “There’s so much hand painted fabrics, hand painted pictures and I appreciate the hard work and efforts put into the work the designers do. It’s hard work, but it pays off in the end, the result is exquisite.”

Sarika also stated that she hopes that Samoa’s fashion industry will expand out of the Pacific to other countries across the globe.

During the fashion week, Samoa’s Tourism Authority CEO Papali’i Sonya Hunter said it’s time that Samoa celebrated the local talent of which “we have plenty.” She pointed out that it was just last month that Samoan fashion made the red carpet at the MTV Video Music Award when Parris Goebel wore an off-the-shoulder, sapphire colored Pasifika-inspired gown by E’vana Couture, one of Samoa’s celebrated labels. Goebel is a renowned choreographer, dancer and actress who was honored at the awards with three nominations for her work on Justin Bieber’s “Sorry” video.

According to a statement issued by STA CEO, “Samoa Fashion Week is the brainchild of the Samoa Arts Council (SAC) and its collaboration with the Pacific Runway Fashion Show Sydney Australia. The beauty of our country, the bright colors and shapes, which feature in our tropical paradise, have no doubt been of great inspiration to these emerging talents. Mother Nature has gifted us with beauty in abundance, and our appreciation of it is expressed through the work of these gifted artists, who have used these natural gifts as inspiration for what we have seen thus far,” the statement said. 

“The week proved that Samoa’s local talent is on par with the region, no, the world,” said Papali’i.

Samoa News notes that on the same day of the MTV awards ceremony, Goebel posted on her Facebook page, "Proud Polynesian on the red carpet. Representing my family, my country, my culture and everyone that has ever believed in me.”

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