Emerging designer aims to establish himself despite challenges

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Age: 2021
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"Laisiasa Davetawalu who as a passionate 15-year-old boy took part in the Fiji Fashion Week sulu-jaba competition 10 years ago is now working for one of
Australia’s leading clothing brands and is also one of the very first iTaukei
students to graduate from the Fashion Design Studio in Sydney. Davetawalu who
graduated with a Bachelor of Fashion and Design earlier this year says his
journey in establishing himself began when he skipped school in Form 5 and
walked into the Fiji Fashion Week office. Your browser does not support the
audio element.
He says he took part in the 2018 Fiji Fashion Week as an emerging designer after which Managing Director, Ellen Whippy-Knight took him under her wings and
got him into the fashion school. The 24-year-old says he felt home sick in
Sydney because he had never left his family for a long time and it was hard to
keep going, make new friends, start again and adjust to the new environment.

Davetawalu also says it was also challenging to get a job to support himself and even though Whippy-Knight was supporting him, it was nice to have some extra
money which is why he took up gardening and other jobs around the neighbourhood.
He says he started working for Zimmerman when they had sent out an expression of
interest for students looking for weekend job and only 5 of them got a reply.

The young fashion designer further says he has been with Zimmerman since November last year and it was only meant for a week but he is still there and he
is enjoying it. He says he will be showcasing 8 of his original looks from his
graduate collection and an additional 12 looks. Davetawalu further says they are
working on Zimmerman’s resort collection at work which will be shot on Sunday
and he has been working on his collection at night. Your browser does not
support the audio element.
He says he wants to see himself growing in the industry and starting his own brand after learning the ropes at Zimmerman in the next five years. The Kadavu
lad adds for anyone who wants to make it into the industry, they need to work
hard, believe in themselves and stay true to who they really are. The 15th Fiji
Fashion Week titled FJFWxPalmolive 2022 will be live on FM96 Instagram page.

The Resort Cruise Runway will be today and the Resort Luxe Runway will be on tomorrow. The shows are expected to start at 6pm at the Vodafone Arena.Read more
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Posted 27 May 2022

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Posted 30 May 2022

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