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Samoa at N.Z. Fashion Parade

One of Cecilia Keil's garments featuring in the parade: "Drowning Paradise"The bare centre piece in the middle representing Land and everything else is ocean. [Samoa Observer]
Apia, SAMOA — Local fashion designers are heading to Auckland, New Zealand, this weekend to participate in the Inaugural Skycity Pasifika Parade Fashion show. 

Cecilia Keil of Cecilia’s Fashion House, Dane Fabricious of D.M.F. and Natalya Ah Him from Pele Creations, will be showcasing their designs alongside other Pacific fashion designers such as Mena and TAV Pacific.

Speaking to the Weekend Observer, Keil said it’s very important for our local designers to take part in these types of international events to boost Samoa’s fashion industry.

“It’s great to be involved in these events,” Keil said. “The best thing about these events is we create links and get more exposure – that’s the most important thing.  The designers get recognised by getting their name out there. It’s great for your portfolio to have all events that you have participated in and have been invited to. It’s all about marketing.”

The parade will take place in the heart of Auckland city and will be a part of the Pasifika Day celebrations in New Zealand. 

While the designers do not have to follow any particular theme, Keil will be showcasing garments that are inspired around the theme of climate change. One of her feature dresses, “Drowning Paradise”, tells a story of how rising sea levels affects the smaller islands because of climate change.

“There is no theme, but I’m always trying to promote awareness of climate change and how it’s affecting us with carbon emissions and sea level rise, so some of my collection will be representations of that through colours I see as symbolic of those things.”

Keil believes now is the time for Samoan designers to capitalise on the world’s growing interest in Pacific culture and art by getting more international exposure.

“Yes definitely more interest, particularly Samoa, and we are doing well in everything and you have to strive for the top in the fashion world – just like sports. You have to keep moving up by playing with good teams and it’s the same with designers, you can’t just stay here in Samoa, you’ve got to get out because when you are exposed to that level, you come back thinking you need to do better last time. You can’t go backwards; you have to keep moving forward.”

Keil hopes to build on the connections that she has made at such international fashion events in order to help develop Samoa’s fashion sector.

Read more at Samoa Observer