Identity fuels fashion
(Picture caption: Fou designers stamp their mark on the runway at the Pacific Aotearoa Vision Summit. CREDIT: Sylia Tevao/Pacific Aotearoa.)
Showcasing Fou designs at the Pacific Aotearoa Vision Summit was not just an opportunity to gain exposure for the Auckland-based clothing brand, but a chance for its designers to reveal what Pacific Aotearoa means to them through their garments - a fusion of traditional and new.
Fou consists of three Pacific designers Mary Soonaoso, Asomaliu Tagiilima and Norah Harriman (pictured below L-R), who have been working together for a year to create looks inspired by the stories of their people, while also striving to normalise Pacifc fashion and design in mainstream environments.
The trio were invited to display their designs during a fashion show, also featuring Molly and Grace designs, and say while grateful for the platform to gain exposure, taking part has been more about celebrating Pacific Aotearoa and its significance to each individual.
Each of the designers draw inspiration from everything and anyone, but typically their individual stories, Harriman says.
“Our individual stories and our peoples’ stories are what make us unique so we bring that to the table when thinking about our designs.”
Fellow Fou designer Soonasoso says each of the designers have a distinct style so it’s a matter of fusing them together to create the perfect ‘Fou Fit’.
The third member of the trio, Tagiilima says their work is about empowering people from all walks of life to embrace their body shape and feel confident.
“This begins with a talanoa and exchanging of ideas to create the best ‘Fou Fit’ for their wearer,” Tagiilima says.
Their goal for Fou is for the business to be sustainable; cater for all; provide employment opportunities to up and coming fashion designers; and to be recognised both locally and internationally.
Striving to take Pacific fashion to the next level by genuinely rooting their practice in their core values of respect for fabrics; love when creating these garments; and mutual understanding of those involved in the process has made for a successful recipe as a fresh, new and edgy brand.
Visit FOU for more information.